Franck: Disclaimers could make emails into contracts

Article in The Register about the High Court judgment in Metha v J Pereira Fernandes SA on the application of the Statute of Frauds and Perjuries 1677 to e-mail messages. In short, the sender's name or initials as a signature in the body of the e-mail can be a valid signature, but names or addresses that appear only in the headers do not count. The article kindly links to me as the source of a tip about this case.

Update, 14 April 2006: Ian Grigg of Systemics points out that this ruling is bad news for digital signature suppliers, but good news for the rest of the world. He is right: the application of old tried-and-tested principles produces more sense than attempts at changing the law (in this case on evidence) to match changes in technology (in this case cryptography).

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

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