eSignatures – The Law Commission’s Statement of Law

eSignatures – The Law Commission’s Statement of Law

Execution with an electronic signature – what does it mean for your organisation?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the in-person signing of deeds and documents impractical and created a nation of ‘remote’ workers.

Mercury-compliant ‘virtual signings’ (where the signature page of a hard copy document is signed in wet-ink and a PDF of the signed signature page is typically sent by email to the signatory’s lawyer following the guidance in the Law Society’s 2010 practice note on the execution of documents at a virtual signing or closing) are the preferred method for many businesses executing transaction documents.

However, the use of electronic signature platforms such as Adobe Sign and DocuSign can, in many circumstances, provide a viable, and arguably often more user-friendly, alternative and they are gaining increasing traction in the market.

This article sets out the full text of the Law Commission’s 2019 statement of law relating to the electronic execution of documents in England and Wales.

To help you evaluate the statement in the context of how you may wish to use electronic signature platforms within your organisation, the text has been annotated to provide guidance on the interpretation of the statement’s propositions and links to relevant legislation and case law.

This article is an edited, updated and extended version of an article originally written by Richard Oliphant (consultant, CMS) and published by Practical Law (Thomson Reuters) in March 2020. The statement of law is reproduced under Crown copyright and contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. 

 

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Much more than just print management software

Much more than just print management software

Most business processes were originally designed from moving paper from one place to another.

Nowadays, we still tend to print the paper that we need to move from one place to another…Kappris is here to help you print in a smart way– without paper – and often, without printers. 

Smart workflow automation to digitise your office

Let’s face it, no business enjoys paying for administration and owners constantly strive to reduce the cost of business operations. Kappris gives you smooth processes with just a click of a button, freeing up time and reducing the use and movement of paper.

Sending your letters with digital signatures, safe and securely

Quite rightly so, there’s a lot of fear about using digital signatures in the legal sector. After all, it’s a criminal offence if a solicitor’s letterhead is misused.

But fear won’t stop innovation happening. In fact, Kappris addresses all of the risks around using digital signatures, in particular, in the most frequent used scenario – sending out a letter.

Rubber stamp documents without paper or a rubber stamp!

Even in tomorrow’s digital world there’ll still be a need to have a ‘rubber stamp’. Our electronic rubber stamps and signatures are designed just for you and are used in many ways including;

 

  • Certifying digital document to be true and accurate copies.
  • Approving invoices to be paid.
  • Acknowledging receipt of documents on a specific date.
An approval process that works in any application

We have a client in Asia who needs funds to be released from their London office.

The Asia office sends a form to the accounts team in London, who must have approval before funds are released.

They print the form, run to a partner to get the signature and only then they can release funds. They then scan and save the signed form into their system for compliance.

If we receive information electronically in the first place, let’s keep it that way!

Does this scenario sound familiar? How often is a form printed in order to get a signature for it to then be scanned back?

Kappris users have:
  • Security and control of every digital signature, including persons authorised to sign on behalf of others.
  • An audit trail of who signed which letters, including persons who signed on behalf of others.
  • Seamless integration with Outlook to quickly send electronic letterhead by email.
  • Seamless integration with iManage/document management systems to store signed letters into the correct workspace with a meaningful andd easily identifiable file name.

iManage and DMS integration

Remove unfriendly file names from your DMS & make it easier to find your scanned documents.

You will no longer have to trawl through files with lengthy unique identifier names given to scanned documents. Kappris forces documents to be stored in your document management system into a client matter workspace with a meaningful file name.

iManage integration makes it easier to identify your documents from a ‘follow-me print queue’.

Intelligent print drivers know that a letter is to be printed on letterhead

Who or what tells the printer which paper to print on and whether it’s single or double sided?

Kappris recognises documents by their templates and sends instructions to printers so that the default setting for the document type is always used. Some document types can be forced to print double sided and in black and white and can achieve a huge cost saving.

Kappris smart printing saves money in wasted printing errors and saves time in messing about with printer settings. Kappris is a universal interface which means it works with any brand of MFD or printer so your experience is always the same even in a mixed fleet environment with lots of different printer types.

Kappris is a system that makes it easy for users to print the jobs they want without having to alter any of the printer settings.

Outlook integration thread

Do you want to print a 20 thread email conversation, or just the last 2?

The Kappris print button makes it easy to select parts of an email conversation, or the complete conversation, to print. It automatically recognises how many email exchanges have taken place, and the user can then select the number of these they wish to print.

Our clients’ favourite feature is to set a default to print only the last two emails in a thread, it saves masses of wasted paper.

In their 1st year of using Kappris, BLM Solicitors saved 1.5 million sheets of paper just by using the ‘Print Last 2 Emails Only’ feature in Outlook.

Email attachments

Printing attachments from emails is also made easier

No longer do you have to wait for applications to open, print, close, before moving onto your next task. And printing ZIP files is now more secure as no extraction to other folders is needed.

Effective and practical print management is key to any business. We can simplify your print processes, giving you control over the way your staff print. Influencing email printing, often a firm’s most significant print output, will reduce paper and toner use resulting in print savings and environmental benefits.

Kappris prevents harmful virus in macro enabled templates.

Reporting

Enjoy transparency of your business with Kappris reporting.

How do you know your investment is working for you?

How do you know if the changes you’ve made are working?

Kappris reports tell you who signed that letter using the digital signature. It will tell you how many emails have been printed using the ‘print only last 2 emails’ feature.

You can calculate your savings on paper usage, and you can demonstrate your compliance. You can be assured that you made the right investment in choosing Kappris.

Check out who and how many documents are being ‘printed’ to electronic stationery rather than paper.

Our simple to implement Kappris software allows your law firm to work in an extremely easy and flexible way, transforming your firm’s efficiency and creating a tailored digital working environment.

Kappris is a suite of simple software and templates that can transform the way your law firm works, whether that be digitally or with physical documents. It enables you to print securely from your work system to your home printer and it gives you one common view linking multiple hardware setups, wherever you are.

Book your Kappris demonstration or contact us today to understand how we can improve your performance and deliver genuine and significant reduction in costs.

Get in touch

If you’d like to chat to us about how our technology can make a difference to your firm, or would like to join our mailing list for our blogs or events, then please get in touch.