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Developments in Digital Conveyancing Many forwardthinking legal firms are looking to expedite the conveyancing process by removing ‘print and post’ from the workflow as far as possible.

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conveyancing, the relevant UK statute, the Electronic Communications Act 2000, does not expressly allow electronic signatures. Neither does the law of Cyber security remains one of the most England and Wales comprehensively serious threats facing the legal community confirm anywhere the validity of electronic and is a constant reminder for all firms to execution in the context of deeds. take a more secure approach to the However, Land Registry’s new e-mortgage protection of sensitive client data. system relies on the use of “Qualified” According to the SRA Risk Outlook electronic signatures using their Gov verify 2018/19, in the first quarter of 2018 over solution. Essentially the system provides 70% of all cybersecurity reports were the “Trust” element and is in effect the directly attributed to email modification witness in that it certifies the identity of the fraud, a sophisticated method of person signing. Docu-sign is also a interception designed to capture client Qualified certificate solution. bank details and personal information. Poweredbypie has recently launched he introduction of new technology has the potential to facilitate online communication, however, what do conveyancers need to consider?

The use of electronic signatures is also an area of debate. Electronic signatures are binding so long as they can be authenticated. One way to ensure the authentication process is to use an electronic signature company such as DocuSign, since courts have already ruled a signature using DocuSign is presumptively valid. However, on a practical level there are a number of issues that are preventing widespread take up.

Brighter Portal which is a new solution for solicitors which provides secure two-factor authentication to share legal documents.

With Brighter Portal, the law firm creates the document portfolio which includes intuitive, editable forms and digital signature facility, provided by the leading eSignature brand DocuSign. Not only does this provide a secure environment for client data, it also streamlines the conveyancing process and helps avoid delays to the Contracts for the sale of property and land transaction. must be in writing, contain all agreed terms For further information please contact: and be signed by all parties; and transfers, info@poweredbypie.co.uk. ■ charges and some leases must be made by deed (which involves signing, By Carole Marsden, witnessing and attesting). While EU legislation (The electronic Group Chief Commercial Officer, identification and trust services eIDAS) and poweredbypie the UK courts accept electronic signatures as valid; and while HM Land Registry is, as a matter of policy, moving towards digital CENTRAL LONDON LAWYER 25

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Central London Lawyer May 2019  

The Official Law Journal for the City of Westminster Law Society. Featuring the latest news and features on International events, property a...

Central London Lawyer May 2019  

The Official Law Journal for the City of Westminster Law Society. Featuring the latest news and features on International events, property a...

Profile for benham