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However, in July 2015 legislation was passed in Scotland to permit execution in counterparts and facilitate electronic closings.
Some six months have now passed under the new system and market practices are now developing.
Accordingly, it seems timely to review current law and practice as a whole.
Overall, the new regime seems to be working well and closing processes touching Scotland should be rendered considerably more straightforward.
This is a wider meaning than ‘authorised signatory’ under English law under section 44 of the Companies Act 2006.
Signature should be at the end of the last page of the main body of the document (excluding any annexation or schedule, whether or not it is incorporated in the document).
The Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 (‘the Act’) provides that formal writing is required only in the following instances: Of course, although these are the only situations in which formal writing is mandatory, it is always strongly advisable to follow the formal writing rules when executing any legal document.
If there is more than one party, the requirement to sign at the end of the last page of a document is met if at least one party signs at the end of the last page and any others sign on additional pages.
For this purpose the ‘last page’ is the last page containing an operative clause (and not a schedule or annex).
However, if the document is challenged in the future in a court it would still be necessary for the person seeking to rely on the document to lead evidence to prove that it has in fact been validly executed, i.e.
that the signatories were the correct signatories and that the signatures were indeed their signatures etc.
However, the Scottish execution rules (even as amended) do still differ in a number of respects from those under English law and therefore it will still be important to review execution formalities and clauses against the Scots law requirements. As a starting point it is worth reiterating that not all contracts and obligations governed by Scots law need to be created and evidenced in formally executed documents.