Increasing productivity with electronic signing, are you prepared for the era of e-signing?

October 15, 2021

in COVID-19,General

You are working from home, and you just remembered that you were supposed to print, sign, scan, email and then somehow courier a document a couple of days ago, and arranging a courier in time is now near on impossible. Now it has become urgent but finding the time with back-to-back Zoom meetings to do all that today might come at great personal expense of cost, time and lost productivity during an already difficult time of trying to operate normally through alert levels.

In this fast-moving and ever-changing world, there are times where signing a document in the traditional way is not as easy as it used to be. It may be that New Zealand is in lockdown, perhaps your customer or client is in another region or overseas or there are delays with the postal service and couriers.

Thus, it has become important for individuals and businesses to adapt and change their processes and have strategies in place to enable them to operate in remote settings and allow for signing of documents electronically at a distance.

However, it is not as simple as just getting the documents signed via a video call. Certain processes need to be in place and legal requirements must be met to ensure that the document is acceptable, valid and enforceable. A common example is where the document must be witnessed. The witness cannot be someone that lives at the same address or is related to you, but in a lockdown situation this would be impossible. If the document can be signed electronically then it will need to contain specific provisions to enable alternative methods of execution where there are already specified legal requirements for the document to be signed in a particular way.

It is now the time to review your current processes and strategies to simplify, fast track and update your current suite of documents and we are seeing more client’s seeking advice on how to achieve this. 

Perhaps the most important thing to consider before making changes is to discuss with your lawyer the following:

  • Can this particular document be signed electronically;
  • What processes must be followed if the document was to be signed remotely;
  • Does this document have provisions to allow signing of the document electronically; and
  • Does this document include a clause which allows for signing electronically and in a number of counterparts?

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication, please contact the lawyer at Farry Law who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Sonia Dhaliwal
sdhaliwal@farry.co.nz
09 222 0235

The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only.  It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry Law does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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