Deeds: Who can sign them on behalf of the University?

Did you know that there are formal requirements for signing deeds? To streamline this process, the University has recently authorised specific officeholders to sign deeds under a Power of Attorney.

What is a deed?

A deed is a special type of legal document under which a party makes a binding promise to do something. Unlike ordinary agreements, deeds do not require parties to exchange something of value, such as a fee for a service.

If you manage agreements at the University, you are likely to come across deeds such as:

  • Deeds of confidentiality
  • Deeds of assignment
  • Deeds of novation
  • Deeds of variation
  • Deeds of gift
  • Intellectual property deed polls

How can deeds be signed by the University?

As a body corporate, the University is required to sign deeds either under seal or by power of attorney.

How do I affix the common seal?

The process for applying the University’s seal is set out in the Rule and Procedures for the Use of the Seal and Execution of Documents.

It is acknowledged this is impracticable unless required by external parties, such as the Lands Titles Office, so the University has now put in place an alternative way for deeds to be signed.

Is there another way to sign a deed?

Yes - there is an easier way to sign deeds than affixing the University’s common seal. Many deeds can be signed by the University’s appointed attorneys. These are officeholders who have been authorised under a Power of Attorney to sign documents on the University’s behalf. They may sign a wide range of documents, including deeds relating to confidentiality, research and commercialisation, and real property.

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