Magic circle giant Linklaters rolls out electronic signatures in deal with DocuSign

Linklaters is offering clients the opportunity to sign documents directly from their smartphone, tablet or desktop in a major deal with DocuSign.
The magic circle firm said the deal has the potential to put an end to the time consuming practice of “printing, signing, and scanning” multiple documents, significantly reducing client time and meaning that clients no longer need to stay in the office while their lawyers finalise agreements.
To date, the 2,601-lawyer firm has used the technology in four separate deals, with plans to now roll the practice out more widely. Clients have so far said they welcome the solution not only for its convenience but for the audit trail that captures who signed what, when and where for every transaction, Linklaters said in a statement on Wednesday (9 September.)
“Completing a signing in the traditional way can be a lengthy process, whereas through this mobile technology, with the click of a mouse or the tap of a tablet or smart phone, it can be reduced to minutes, whilst maintaining the formality and security of a signing,” said Mark Nuttall (pictured), a London finance partner at Linklaters who first used the new service.
“We hit upon the idea by observing how digital signatures (E-signing) are commonly used for thousands of transactions in the rental market. It was clearly applicable to our work and our business services team quickly turned the idea into reality.
“On the back of the successful trial of this tool, we are discussing using the technology with many more clients, who are already thinking about how this might be introduced inside their own organisations as part of their own efficiency drives. Linklaters can assist by providing advice as to the legal implications,” Nuttall added.
The initiative is part of Linklaters’ wider drive to enhance the firm’s performance through improved efficiency and identifying more cost effective solutions.
DocuSign’s cloud-based technology enables signatories to sign at any time from any device and without needing to have an account with DocuSign, as they can securely access documents via an emailed link.