The Law Society has issued guidance to help those who wish to use an electronic signature to enter into a commercial contract.
Electronic signatures come in a number of forms, including:
- Where a person types their name into a contract or an email containing the contract’s terms.
- Where a person electronically pastes their signature into an electronic version of the contract.
- Where a contract is accessed through a web-based e-signature platform and a person clicks to have their name inserted into the contract in a text or handwritten font.
- Where a finger, light pen or stylus and touchscreen are used to sign the contract electronically.
The guidance sets out the principles used to determine whether a document signed with an electronic signature has been validly executed. It covers commercial contracts made in a business context but not contracts made with consumers.
The topics it covers include:
- The legislative framework.
- Using electronic signatures in connection with documents governed by English law.
- Combining different execution methods.
- The conflict of legal issues that may arise.
- The evidential weight of electronic signatures.
- Dealing with originals and counterparts.
Expert legal advice on commercial contracts
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