An Update to Electronic Signing in Victoria

The Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Act 2022 (“the Act”) was enacted on 22 February 2022.

The Act allows companies to adopt technology and flexible approaches to signing documents.

Under the Act, a company may sign a document using the traditional method of putting wet-ink to a paper or via electronic means.

Either method must identify the person signing and indicate their intention in respect of the information recorded in the document. Further, if signing electronically, the method used must be reliable to the extent appropriate for the particular document being signed.

This appears to be consistent with the electronic signatures permitted under the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act (“the ETA”). The ETA requires, where an electronic signature is required and consented to, that a reliable and appropriate method is used to identify the person and indicate the person’s intention in respect of the information communicated.

Of course, companies should ensure that their constitution allows for the signing of legal documents by particular methods.

Further, there may still be occasions where wet-ink signatures are still required, particularly where a party does not consent to the use of an electronic signature.

Please contact the team at Wisewould Mahony to learn more about electronic signing and the legal requirements for electronic signatures.

The above article is a brief summary and not legal advice.