By Fiona Luong and Rajan Dhami
In these uncertain times, trade finance and other transaction parties may face particular logistical challenges when signing documents in person. One option available to the transaction parties is to sign documents "virtually" (in other words, signing a hard copy of a document and sending a scan of the signature page to the other side). This method of signing will be familiar to most people who have entered into transactional documents with an international counterparty. Certain formalities must be observed for virtual signings in light of the Mercury case (discussed further below).
Parties are also increasingly turning to the possibility of utilising electronic platforms for signing documents, called "e-signing" or "electronic signing".
But can electronic signing be a valid form of signing an agreement? We look in detail at the options available to those signing agreements under English law.