Doing That Bracket Thing in Your Signature Blocks

Yesterday I saw an English template contract that had in the signature blocks three brackets (or rather, closing parentheses) one on top of the other. I recall Mark Anderson (aka @IPDraughts) have mentioned that practice at some point, so I asked him about it again. Here’s what he said:

You are supposed to sign in the space to the right of the brackets. To the left, should be typed:

Signed by Joe Bloggs
On behalf of
General Trading Limited

This is a very trad style which is gradually going but still has some life in it.

Sometimes a party will sign after “signed by”, particularly if this space has not been completed with the individual’s name.

Below is my mockup of what this would look like:

Traditional English Signature Blocks

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

8 thoughts on “Doing That Bracket Thing in Your Signature Blocks”

  1. Ken:

    The most common-sense version of a blank signature block that I have ever seen was as follows:

    Signed: ______________
    For: _________________
    By: __________________
    Its: __________________
    On: __________________
    But even that can be confusing to many business people. I just think there’s no right answer.


  2. With all due respect, I’m not sure you got it right. At least here, in Canada, I see it frequently with the following format (and have never seen it as in your example): To the right of the parentheses is a signature line. Above the signature line is “Acme Limited”. To the immediate left of the line is “per”. Under the line is “I have authority to bind the corporation” as well as the signatory’s name. To the left of the parentheses is another signature line, this one for the witness (notice the text “in witness whereof”). Underneath this signature line is typically “Name:” for the insertion of the printed witness name.

      • If the signatures are to be witnessed (as may be required if the document is executed as a deed), there would also be a space below each signature block on the left hand side, with wording such as “in the presence of:” and below that a signature block for the witness to sign (signature, address and, sometimes, occupation).


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.