MBM Commercial (“MBM”), an award-winning law firm with offices in London and Edinburgh, has today launched its Digital Deals Hub, to help commercial deals to stay on track during lockdown. The hub is the first of its kind and provides resources on how and when digital signatures can be used in legal transactions.
MBM estimates that thousands of transactions may have been delayed by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as ‘wet ink’ signatures became impractical.
Since the UK entered lockdown on 23 March 2020, MBM has completed over twenty investment deals and many other legal transactions using digital signatures, however this practice is still not widely utilised across the legal profession. MBM began trialling digital technology in 2019 and had already rolled out training to all staff prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a view to rolling out this service to clients in the summer of this year.
These plans are now being brought forward as a result of the current nationwide lockdown. The Digital Deals Hub will direct others across the legal profession, clients or prospective clients to one source which provides clarity on issues which have previously delayed transactions from being completed. The primary aim is to increase understanding, save time and get deals completed more quickly. The hub includes helpful information included to highlight what the legal position is in England, Scotland and the US and set out what the firm thinks lawyers should adopt as the relevant type of digital signature on different types of legal document.
Investment deals and other transactions typically used “wet ink” signatures, a fact that is proving challenging in the current climate where many are working from home and a number of deals require multiple signatories. Whilst some legal documents such as leases cannot be signed electronically, most now can, and MBM believes it is vital to keep business moving, and prevent delays to transactions, by making better use of digital signatures.
Stuart Hendry, Senior Partner at MBM Commercial, said: “The unprecedented challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic mean we all need to find new ways of working, embrace the latest technologies and adopt new practices. We had already started using digital signatures where possible, but the current situation means we need to speed up the process beyond ourselves.
“A number of the deals we work on involve multiple law firms and many do not yet use digital signatures. This can delay transactions, at a time when many of our clients need instant solutions that can help their businesses weather existing challenges and unlock much-needed cash. The Digital Deals Hub has been created so more people can understand the legality of digital signatures, how they should work and when they can be used.
“Times of upheaval always require a step-change how we think and behave, so we need to be innovative wherever there is room to improve how we work. We have launched this service to encourage as many others as possible to join the digital revolution and help business keep moving forward. Digital completion of deals is not just a solution for now, but is how we should all be doing business in the 21st century.”
Further information from:
Charlotte Street Partners
+44 7827 887916 firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Street Partners
+44 7984 494587 email@example.com
About MBM Commercial
Founded in 2005, MBM Commercial is award winning and entrepreneurial UK commercial law firm with offices in London and Edinburgh. The firm’s primary mission is to help entrepreneurial businesses based throughout the UK start-up, scale up and go global. MBM Commercial are market leaders and sector specialists for advising on investment deals and innovative companies.
MBM Commercial’s own entrepreneurial experience helps it understand the challenges and risks of setting up and growing a successful business. The firm has also invested in and been the first customer of a number of startup companies. These experiences have helped shape the firm’s values and culture.