Is a signature necessary to complete a contract?

7th July 2023

Yesterday, my colleague mused whether her client could sign a contract using her “known as” name rather than her given name. A number of us agreed “yes, she could,” after all, a signature is merely evidence of agreement and not a pre-requisite to agreement. As I have explained to many people; no-one asks you to sign when you buy a Wispa before hopping on your train home, so a signature cannot be required to make a contract binding.

The pre-requisites for the formation of a contract are an intention to create legal relations, offer, acceptance and consideration. Contracts are often oral or implied by conduct and now our Canadian counterparts (who also have a common law system) have confirmed that the use of emojis in text based conversation can be used to communicate these core concepts – this seems a natural progression to me.

From the Guardian: Canadian judge rules thumbs-up emoji can represent contract agreement