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Is an Electronic Signature Enough?

In an ever increasing technologically developing world, and particularly whilst we have all been in lockdown, the use of electronic signature is of course becoming more wide spread. There is a growing area of dispute as to whether a document has actually been signed in the legal meaning of the word. It is of course accepted that when someone signs a document by hand, they understand that they are signing a document, but can the same be said when the document has been signed electronically?

There is a recent case of Neocleous –v- Rees which provided some clarification in this area. In this case it was decided that an email footer, which was generated automatically, and contained the name, role and contact details of the sender was sufficient to constitute a signature as required by Section 2(3) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989. In this case, it was argued on behalf of the claimants that the generated name of the sender in the footer of the email was enough to sign the document within the meaning of the Act. Despite the fact that for many of us an email footer is automatically created with every email that we send.


It is therefore important to keep in mind that you may, without thought and consideration, be contractually binding yourself if an agreement is reached and confirmed by email.


If you would like any advice on this or any other aspect of contractual law, please do not hesitate to contact our ligation department on either 01273 582271 or

Posted in: Litigation

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