Witnessing of documents via video conference is here to stay

We are now two years into the global pandemic and it seems we are constantly adjusting to how we interact with each other and go about business.

When it comes to servicing our clients, Covid-19 has presented both challenges and opportunities for positive change.

As we have addressed in our previous alerts Execution of Legal Documents in an Ever Changing Environment and One Year On… One Way Covid Has Benefited Our Clients, Covid brought about a practical change in the process for witnessing documents. Witnessing of documents via video conference was introduced out of necessity when we first went into lockdown and was originally introduced as a temporary measure. The original legislation allowing was originally set to be in place for only six months and was subsequently extended out until the end of 2021.

Late last year, the NSW Government passed new legislation updating the Electronic Transactions Act so that the provisions around electronic witnessing are no longer a pilot scheme and don’t have an end date. We are hopeful that this means the ability to witness documents via video conference is here to stay and is a practical solution we can use with clients into the future.

While face to face execution of documents is best in some circumstances, it is good to know that we have the option of video conferencing in our tool belt.