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e-signatures: We respond to Law Commission consultation

e-signatures: We respond to Law Commission consultation
  • United Kingdom
  • Corporate


Driving the wider adoption of electronic

Eversheds Sutherland has submitted a response to the Law Commission consultation on electronic signatures. The Law Commission is investigating a number of potential barriers to the wider adoption of electronic signatures including their use for deeds and how the requirement for witnessing can be satisfied by electronic means. A copy of our response can be viewed here. This was drawn up by an internal working party with input from several FI clients.

Millions of contracts are made online every day, both consumer and B2B, with one party using another’s website (or that of a 3rd party) to enter name, address and/or other details and ticking a box to evidence assent to a contract to purchase goods, services or copyright materials. Despite very wide adoption in some areas, there is still reluctance on the part of certain clients, particularly in the financial sector, to rely on electronic signatures for particularly important or valuable contracts. There are of course also still restrictions on the use of dispositionary documents to be lodged at the Land Registry. It is to seek to address these concerns and bring much needed legal clarity that the Law Commission launched its recent consultation.

Within the legal market, Eversheds Sutherland was an early adopter of the technology. We have deployed electronic signatures effectively on major cross-border transactions including corporate re-organisations, M&A and commercial contracts.

Commercial partner, Craig Rogers, commented:

"as well as being one of the first firms to prove e-signature technology in corporate transactions, we have delivered advice and training to a host of our key clients. In most cases, the electronic signature of documents can streamline the execution process, reduce the risk of fraud and facilitate contract management. Over the coming years this will become the rule rather than the exception."

We are keen to guide more clients through any questions and concerns they may have about using electronic signatures either in their day to day business relations with their customers or on larger transactions on which we are advising.