The digital deed by attorney

February 12th 2016

Introduced by the law dated March 28th, 2011 and fully dematerialised since May 19th, 2015, the deed by attorney is a new legal tool, adapted to the contemporary needs, which allows the execution of private transactions easily, rapidly and securely.

It can be used in all the situations where the use of a notarial deed, i.e. a deed received by a notary, is not compulsory.

Unlike a private deed, the attorney executes the deed and thus, secures its conclusion.

By his signature, the attorney certifies:

  • that he examined the deed and fully informed his client concerning the legal consequences of its undertakings.
  • that the client knowingly executed the deed, which grants reality and integrity to the parties’ consent and limits the possibilities of posterior disputes.
  • that the parties shall rely on the validity of the deed.

The countersigned deed has a higher probative value than a deed established and signed by private individuals or in between companies, thanks to a certified date, an accelerated execution process, a probative filing guaranteed, secured and accessible online.

The areas where it is possible to resort to the acte d’avocat are as numerous as the acts for which an attorney may usually provide his assistance; amongst the most common: business matters (equity transfers and acquisitions, transfers of business, other commercial agreements), real estate matters (residential leases, commercial leases), labour law matters (settlement agreements, employment agreements) and family matters (agreements on family organisation in a separation or a divorce, mandates for future protection).

In addition to the enforcement of ethical and professional principles guaranteed by an attorney (expertise, advice, confidentiality, legal privilege), the use of the acte d’avocat presents the undisputable advantage of simplification and improvement of the execution process (reduction of business travel, gain of time, greater involvement of the parties in drafting, secured filing).

The entire process is organised through the secured attorneys’ website, called e-Barreau, by allocation of an electronical certificate allowing the parties to be identified and to execute the deed, wherever they are.

The attorney as the editor of the deed, also holds a signature certificate, qualified and referenced by the government, which allows the attorney to execute the deed.

Finally, the deed is filed, sealed and indexed.

The digital deed by attorney is an outcome, even more, one of the foundations of the adaptation of the legal profession to the digital evolution.

Marcia Givord
Olga Tokareva