Electronic signatures to contracts: does your charity need to think twice before sending that email?

A recent case has demonstrated that the use of an automatic footer in an email, with the accompanying words “Many thanks”, is enough not only for the valid execution of a contract (in this case, a settlement agreement), but also to satisfy the additional statutory requirements for a contract to sell land.

This is not an entirely surprising decision in some respects, given that courts have been becoming increasingly relaxed about how people sign their contracts, but it is certainly something of which all charities should be aware, lest they find themselves entering into a contract inadvertently following an exchange of emails!

To help you avoid this kind of situation, this short article written by Greg Gibson aims to summarise the new developments in electronic signatures, the Neocleous decision, the Law Commission’s guidance on electronic execution methods, and what we might expect to see next in this area.

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