Companies can no longer e-sign documents

As of 21 March 2021, the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No 3) 2020 (Cth) (Determination) lapsed because it reached the end of its six (6) month period as prescribed by section 9(3) of the Determination.  This means that the ability for companies to execute documents electronically, or e-signing, is no longer acceptable under subsection 127(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act).  Section 6(3)-(4) of the Determination authorised e-signing in response to the COVID-19 restrictions, as stated in the Explanatory Statement:  [Read more…]

Electronic execution of documents by directors

Note: this regulatory relief has expired.  Please see Dundas Lawyers article: Companies can no longer e-sign documents.

Because of the current COVID-19 restrictions, it has been inconvenient and even impossible (in some cases) for directors to sign documents in what’s known as “wet-ink”.  In order to address this issue the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 1) 2020 (Cth) (Determination) has been published by the Federal Government.  The Determination modifies the operation of section 127 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) and other legislation in relation to the conduct of meetings and the execution of documents by companies.  The meaning of “Document” has been amended to include a document’ in electronic form. [Read more…]

e-Signatures – legally binding on companies?

The rise of e-signing software such as docuSign (e-signature) has become commonplace for the execution of contracts electronically.  Each state of Australia and the Commonwealth has its own equivalent to the Electronic Transactions Act 2001 (Qld) (ETA).  The use of E-signatures has streamlined the contract execution process, however a recent case in the Supreme Court of South Australia has highlighted their vulnerability.  The decision of Stanley J in Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited v Kenneth Ross Pickard [2019] SASC 123 (Adelaide Bank) is illustrative of this. [Read more…]

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