Execution of Legal Documents during Covid-19 Pandemic

Katie Albiston - Wednesday, June 17, 2020

One of the difficulties that has been encountered by solicitors and notary publics in the current circumstances has been the requirement for their personal presence when executing certain documents. The requirement for working from home where possible and social distancing has created challenges with respect to the signing of certain legal documents.

However, under the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020, it is no longer a requirement for a solicitor or notary public to be physically present when an individual signs a document, is taking an oath or is making an affirmation or declaration. These changes came into effect on 27th May 2020 and are some of the most important provisions introduced.

These changes mean that a solicitor or notary public can authenticate the execution of a document without being present through the use of real-time technology. The solicitor or notary public has to be satisfied that no issues will arise with respect to the acceptance of the document in the jurisdiction where it is received.

The above guidance and more detailed guidance has been published by the Law Society of Scotland and can be accessed at: https://www.lawscot.org.uk/news-and-events/law-society-news/coronavirus-updates/

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