30 March 2020 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Dispute Resolution Alert

Avoiding contact, is there an easy way to sign documents electronically?

Yes there is. Although there are important exceptions, electronic signatures are generally valid provided that the signature is specific to the person signing.

That requirement can be satisfied by a message from that person’s computer which includes a scan of their signature or simply adding a typed name, provided it is intended by the person to serve as a signature and acceptance of the content of the message. A contract signed in this way, again subject to specific exceptions, will be valid and enforceable.

There is a distinction between an electronic signature and an advanced electronic signature which is only available through an accredited agency and includes a secure process with specific software to secure the message.

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