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04th May 2020

COVID-19: Mercury signing approach accepted by The Land Registry.

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At last, some good news for land and house transactions during lockdown.  We hope this may help reduce delays and move along a (temporarily) sluggish market, although other factors are inevitably involved too.

The Land Registry has confirmed that it will - from Monday 4 May 2020 - accept deeds that have been signed using the ‘Mercury signing approach’. This means that, for land registration purposes, a signature page will need to be signed in pen and witnessed in person (not by a video call). 

Partner, Trish Kempson recently facilitated the signing and witnessing of three deeds across a car bonnet with each person wearing a face mask, gloves and observing the correct social distancing requirements! 

The signature block will then need to be captured, with a scanner or a camera to produce a PDF, JPEG or other suitable copy of the signed signature page. Each party sends a single email to their solicitor to which is attached the final agreed copy of the document and the copy of the signed signature page.

We hope that in due course the Land Registry will also begin to accept ‘electronic’ signatures too.

For more information please contact Trish Kempson on 01604 463352 or click here to email Trish.