Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill passes stage 3

Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill passes stage 3

A new law which aims to speed up the process of “getting the deal in writing” and bring benefits to businesses in Scotland, has been passed by the Scottish parliament.

Speaking after the stage 3 debate on the Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill energy secretary Fergus Ewing (pictured) said: “This bill will give the legal profession, and the business interests they represent, the necessary confidence to use Scots law for transactions where execution of a document in counterpart is part of the process.

“The provisions will bring benefits to all parties in any transaction where there are multiple participants. In this way, the law of Scotland will be brought up to date, and in so doing, will promote business and economic growth.”

Parties will now be able to get their documents legally signed and exchanged without meeting at the same place, as is often the case at present.

It will also enable documents created on paper to become legally effective by being delivered by electronic means.

The bill implements recommendations contained in the Scottish Law Commission (SLC) report Review of Contract Law, Report on Formation of Contract: Execution in Counterpart.

The provisions are intended to not only be helpful to Scottish lawyers advising on complex contracts but also to smooth any transaction involving a number of parties in different places or different countries.

Currently, parties in such circumstances may choose to conclude a contract under another legal regime, often in practice English law.

The provisions of the bill mean that many more legal documents may be concluded subject to Scots law.

The bill can be viewed here.

The SLC provides further background on their website.

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