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When Emails Can Create a Contract

In a recent case before the High Court, it was said that a lawyer had entered into a contract for the sale of land on behalf of his client by sending an email.

The court considered whether the email had been signed by the lawyer and it was concluded that the automatic footer, where he inserted his name and title, amounted to an electronic signature. It was stated that the lawyer took an active step to insert his name into the email by setting the footer and that the recipient of an email is entitled to rely on the footer as a signature.

Take care

There was consideration here about whether the email was signed but many contracts can be formed without a signature anyway. It is therefore advisable to take care when drafting emails and you might want to consider inserting “subject to contract” if you are including some or all of the likely terms of a forthcoming contract.

Contact Richard Jenkins on 07837 762705 or for further advice or assistance.

This should not be relied upon for legal advice.

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