Countersigning documents remotely in Hungary

May 20, 2020

By countersigning a document, the countersinging attorney certifies that the document complies with the law and the will of the contracting parties in terms of form and content, and that the parties indicated in the document or their representatives have been identified, verified by the attorney. The countersinging also certifies that the documents have been signed by the parties or their signature on the documents was previously recognized as their own in the presence of the attorney.

An attorney’s countersigning typically and generally takes place in person, in the joint physical presence of each party and the attorney, where the attorney can clearly identify the parties who have appeared before him/her.

However, the question arises as to what rules can be used to countersigning if a personal meeting is not possible (for example during the current state of extreme danger).

The relevant regulations do not stipulate that the identification of a natural person and the verification of identity can only take place during a personal meeting with a attorney, so the current Act of attorneys allows remote identification in some cases.

Among the electronic communication devices audited in advance by the Hungarian Bar Association for remote identification, the Magyar Law Office uses Skype for remote identification.

During the Skype conversation, the parties will be identified, and after the identity has been verified and the details of the document has been finalized, the document may be forwarded to the parties by post or email. Once a paper document is signed by the parties, it is most often returned to the acting attorney by post.

During a repeated Skype conversation, the acting attorney, after re-presenting the contents of the document, re-identifies and then declares to the parties whether the signatures on the document are recognized as their own. In the event that the parties are successfully identified during the Skype conversation and the parties recognize their signature as their own, the attorney may countersign the document.

Please note that the above is for general information only, legal advice on individual cases can only be given in the context of an individual consultation, taking into account all the circumstances of the case.