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Keeping the wheels turning - how to execute deals in the current situation

26 March 2020
Hands on keyboard with lock symbols
A brief look as to how we can continue to execute deals whilst working remotely. 

Q: Can I sign documents at home?

Yes, if you have access to a printer and a scanner you will be able to sign at home. We can email documents to you with instructions about how to execute them and return them to us. If you don’t have a scanner at home, you may be able to return a jpeg photo of the signed document to us instead.

Q: I am not with one of my fellow directors, can I execute documents by myself?

If any documents would normally be signed by two directors, such as debentures, mortgages or any other documents which have specific execution requirements (known as "deeds"), we will make sure that the execution blocks allow you to sign in the presence of a witness instead.  This is another way of executing documents and is just as good as two directors signing together.

Q: What about getting my signature witnessed, does someone have to be there?

Yes, if you need to execute any documents which require witnessing you must sign those documents in the physical presence of another person. You may not ask someone on a FaceTime call or Skype call to witness you signing.

Q: Only a member of my family is available to witness, is that OK?

Yes, your spouse, partner, parent, sibling or child can witness your execution. If your child is to be a witness and they are under the age of 18 years, please only ask them to do so if they are sufficiently mature to appreciate what they are doing and for their evidence to be regarded as reliable should it be called upon at a later date.

Q: I am in self-isolation and can't sign in the "presence" of a witness, what do I do now? 

In these circumstances, if it is possible for you to be observed executing the document, for example through a window or at the recommended safe distance, then the executed document may be separately completed by the individual who witnessed you signing it.

Q: Can I sign the documents in any other way? 

Yes, it may be possible for you sign the documents using an e-signing platform.  However, not all documents can be signed like this so we are advising our clients to use email where possible or contact us to discuss other options.

Q: Can I ask DWF to sign for me?

Yes, this might be possible if you are able to appoint a number of our solicitors to act as your attorneys. If this is a suitable option, we can sort out the drafting of a power of attorney for you. Please note that this must be executed as a deed which means you will need to have your execution of it witnessed.

Further Reading

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