What is backdating

Another way is to state at the beginning of the document that it is made “as of” the required date.

However, the actual date of signature should nevertheless be set out in the attestation clause at the end to avoid any claims that the document was intentionally misleading.

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The best way to achieve this is to state openly in the document that it is recording an earlier oral agreement made on, and so is with effect from, a particular date and then date it the actual date it was signed.

The position is then clear to all who subsequently look at the document.

Although it may have been intended to put in place a new arrangement by a particular date – often a year end – that date may now have passed. Obviously the ideal position is to put in place the legal documents in advance. Well, it depends on what was transferred, and whether it can be said that the relevant transaction has already happened.

Documenting a transaction which has already happened One possible scenario is that the relevant transaction has already happened, but just hasn’t been documented yet.

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I am sure that from time to time we have all come across the vexed question of backdating documents.

He also has no way of knowing whether the backdating will be scrutinized by a regulatory authority or even a Court.

For example, will the document be provided in support of the party’s tax position giving the impression that a signed legal contact was in place before it was?

The difficult question for a lawyer to answer is to what extent does he have to enquire into the veracity of his client’s statement that the document “is just recording an earlier agreement”?

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