Reasons for scepticism

The solicitor’s humble routine of witnessing signatures on TR1s and other Land Registry forms could be consigned to history – along with a modest but useful income stream – if the latest long-awaited step towards paperless conveyancing becomes reality. Land Registry has opened a consultation into amending its rules to allow deeds to be signed electronically rather than on paper.

For digital optimists, this is a long overdue step that should make e-conveyancing a reality after 15 years of false starts. Overall, the proposed changes ‘will allow the incremental introduction of secure electronic conveyancing and registration services’, the document states. ‘It will allow the flexibility and speed that is vital in the digital world.’

However the proposals will also face sceptical scrutiny about the potential for fraud – and the choice of technology for authenticating high-value transactions.

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