Unfortunately in UK law these cannot be regarded as legally binding, but certainly legally useful and used to protect the sender against any legal repercussions brought against them by the recipient or other party.
But not so much towards the recipient, as they have to actually open the email prior to reading the disclaimer, may not have even requested the email and no contract will have necessarily been entered into with the sender and as such, is not obligated to abide by it. But if the recipient has opened the email and uses / spreads the contents, then that is an entirely different matter because a warning will have been made.
That being said, including them is still useful and often required in some industries, they certainly never cause any harm. That is with the exception of ‘to the environment’ if recipients print off all their emails including a lengthy disclaimer. However, to ease your conscience and to make people think, you can always add a suggestion about not needing to print off all emails in your disclaimer, see example below..
this e-mail or any attachments – Recycle where possible.
Email disclaimer –
This email and any files / images transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed, referred to herein as ‘intended recipient’. If you have received this email in error please can you notify us by replying. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual(s) named, the intended recipient(s). If you are not the named addressee / intended recipient please do not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.
WARNING: Computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Your-IT-Consultant accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which arise as a result of any e-mail transmissions.
WARNING: Although Your-IT-Consultant has taken reasonable precautions to ensure no viruses are present in this email, as all outgoing and incoming emails are scanned by an up to date virus checker, Your-IT-Consultant cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email or attachments.
Your-IT-Consultant accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and either way subject to the copyright notice below.
Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Your-IT-Consultant, unless from Chris R Green. Employees, Agents or anyone acting on behalf of Your-IT-Consultant (“sender”) are expressly required not to make defamatory statements and not to infringe or authorise any infringement of copyright or any other legal right by email communications. Any such communication is contrary to Your-IT-Consultant policy. Your-IT-Consultant will not accept any liability in respect of such communication, and “sender” responsible will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising.
Contents herein are © copyright, Chris R Green, Your-IT-Consultant, All rights reserved
all other trademarks attributed to and recognised to their respective owners.
Much shorter versions can be used and indeed most SME’s do use much shorter versions, the example above really was to cover everything and be very thorough. If you are going to use a shorter version then make sure you cover the obvious for your industry, warn recipients about virus’s and not spreading the contents. But, Always include your contact details, without this your email will also look unprofessional and possibly be perceived as junk / spam email. See: Example standard email disclaimers for further examples both for internal, external and various departments / industries.
E&OE – Stands for “Errors and Omissions Excepted” – Which is basically a legal disclaimer against honest mistakes, omissions and inaccuracies.
NOTE: It is a legal requirement for all documents (including emails) to include, where applicable, a companies registered address, company / charity number, contact details (phone number or email address, return address for on-line purchases) and any trading / legal names. Sole-traders / Solopreneur’s also need to comply with this requirement but obviously will not have a registered company number. Failure to comply to this is in breach of applicable legislation, the E-Commerce Regulations directive of 2002.
Your-IT-Consultant.co.uk email disclaimer example
Example standard email disclaimers
Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002
Website Usage Terms & Conditions
General Terms & Conditions