The world has responded to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by requiring that many people work from home. This raises questions across a number of areas, not least completing corporate transactions with the often-large volume of documentation to be executed by the parties to implement the deal. Logistical and legal issues must be considered ahead of time in order to deliver completion, making use of the available technology and legal framework to deliver a smooth, and legally binding, corporate transaction.
We believe that the pandemic has driven, and will continue to drive, innovation around remote signing protocols and the use of electronic signatures. Here, we take a look at what English law dictates is capable of signature electronically and the key practical and logistical considerations to think about ahead of time. Ultimately, there is no currently available shortcut to working through the documentation and issues systematically to understand the relevant legislation, filing requirements at registries, or if the place of execution is important, for example, where there are tax or stamp duty consequences.