Emails become legally binding agreement

Concluding a landmark legal case recently in Manchester County Court, a judge has ruled that an exchange of emails including the writers sign-off constituted a legally binding agreement in a land law dispute. Neighbours in the Lake District had been exchanging emails over the sale of a piece of land between the two properties and after confirming the sale, the seller pulled out. The buyer Mr Stavros Neocleous took the matter to court and won, meaning buyers, sellers and developers may now want to exercise a level of caution before sending emails. The solicitor for the plaintiff Mr Daniel Wise of Slater Heelis commented: “It is generally understood that the formality in buying and selling land and property is concluded in writing and signed by both parties, more commonly known as ‘exchanging. Despite there being no case law on whether an email sign-off counts as a signature for a property contract the court has found that an exchange of emails in a single chain with a name at the bottom is essentially the same as a hand-written signature on a paper contract”. Read more about this story in the Manchester evening news here.