New scope for online signing for the legal profession
Traditionally one of the slower sectors to adopt technology, the legal profession has been given some motivation by the government as it has revealed its acceptance of online signatures for deeds.
We have included a link direct to the government website that gives all the information needed and we have also included a snapshot below. This is particularly good news for lawyers and conveyancers who can reach a speedier conclusion to their transactions by incorporating online signatures in their processes.
It is understood that the law has been changed so that parties may be able to execute documents electronically, a method of reporting which is becoming compulsory for other sectors such as accountancy. We believe that this is a significant step towards a greater acceptance within the legal profession of the move towards digital communications.
Interestingly, the deed may now be signed online but also it can be signed on behalf of someone else or a business. In this instance, two signatories are required. For this, no witnesses are required but where they are, a witness may also sign online.
The government has outlined a 6-step list of requirements, all of which can be satisfied by DocSafe, our ISO accredited online signature software. In a nutshell, the requirements include:
- All parties agree to use online signing
- All parties have conveyancers acting for them
- The conveyancer sets up and controls the signing process
- The conveyancer follows several additional security steps to make it fully compliant
- The conveyancer lodges the application and includes a pdf of the completed deed
- The conveyancer certifies that the process has been completed and the security steps have been adhered to
There are several stages of this process including multiple-factor authentication and communication via the signing portal which we have been practising successfully for many years. Our software is tried and tested by many hundreds of professional firms throughout the UK.
The government has set out the types of deed that may be signed electronically as:
- A deed that effects one of the dispositions referred to in section 27(2) and (3) of the Land Registration Act 2002
- A discharge or release in form DS1 or form DS3
- Equivalent deeds in respect of unregistered land
- An assent of registered or unregistered land
- A power of attorney other than a lasting power of attorney
We believe this represents quite a departure in terms of efficiencies and timescales, particularly where you might have multiple signatures required from different people in a variety of locations. We know of a recent property sale that required signatures from adult offspring who were both away at university in different parts of the UK and the parents were local to the firm of solicitors. This transaction required significant travel to complete the paperwork. That is now, thankfully, a thing of the past!
We would be very happy to talk to you about how DocSafe works for you – compliantly, effectively and inexpensively. Our. first month is free of charge and we can set this up very quickly, often within 24 hours, with full training provided.
Find out more on the government specifics HERE