Covid-19: Taking Valid Security During Lockdown
The current lockdown in the UK is throwing up issues for financiers aiming to take security. Claire Butler takes a look at how you can ensure your security is validly executed and registered.
Many documents that a financier requires its clients and guarantors to sign are generally expressed to be deeds, with the signatory signing in the physical presence of a witness.
Recently the Law Commission ruled that attestation by video link is not acceptable, but there are a number of strategies you can adopt to ensure valid execution of deeds when the signatory is self-isolating. These include:
To ensure valid enforcement, a debenture must be registered at Companies House within 21 days of it being executed. The usual electronic filing procedure requires a certified copy of the original deed to be uploaded. This presents obvious difficulties where businesses are not accessing post, with the risk of a debenture not being registered in time. Companies House have, however, confirmed that they will now accept certified counterpart deeds; so please contact us if you wish to know more about this arrangement.
HM Land Registry also permit the execution of deeds in parts, provided the statutory rules are followed. This is complex, and the practice of attaching pre-signed execution pages to a later deed is not acceptable. If in doubt your solicitor will be able to guide you through the process.
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