Publications | 23 March 2021
Stop! Electronic execution pursuant to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) no longer permitted
On 21 March 2021, the temporary measures arising from the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 3) 2020 (“Determination”) expired, which Determination had enabled the electronic execution of documents under section 127 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (“Act”).
Extension of the temporary measures
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021 (“Bill”) sought to extend and expand the measures of the Determination until 16 September 2021, but the Bill could not be passed, meaning that the statutory assumptions afforded under the Act are not available for documents that have been executed by companies electronically.
However, the validity of any documents that had been executed in reliance on the Determination up to and including 21 March 2021 will not be affected by the expiration of the temporary measures.
Whilst States and Territories had enacted their own temporary measures for electronic execution of documents, those measures are not uniform, only relate to certain documents, and do not attract the protection of statutory assumption under the Act.
From 26 April 2021 in Victoria, permanent reforms provided by the Justice Legislation Amendment (System Enhancements and Other Matters) Bill 2021 will be available to permit witnessing by audio-visual link, executing deeds electronically, and executing mortgages in Victoria electronically.
For now, we suggest that, if you intend to execute any documents pursuant to section 127 of the Act, you ensure that they are to be signed by wet ink signature only.
Should you wish to discuss any aspect of these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 653 189 or visit us at madisonbranson.com.