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Lothar Determann, Baker McKenzie, Palo Alto Lothar Determann, with Baker McKenzie.

These days, companies are pushing full throttle to accelerate their digitization roadmaps. With “shelter in place” ordinances and social distancing mandates, most workers are at home. The days of closing ceremonies are all but forgotten. Emergencies, challenges and opportunities are popping up left and right. No one has time for snail mail, ink and paper. “Essential businesses” remain open. But, they, too, cannot easily meet counterparties to sign contracts. Even essential businesses feel an urgent need to revisit e-signature essentials.

The pandemic notwithstanding, companies have to continue to comply with existing laws and protect their interests with enforceable contracts, valid consent declarations, formal records, effective applications for government approvals, and other documents. All in-house and outside counsel need a basic understanding of legal form requirements and practical guidance for their clients.

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