Suppose a person in the United Kingdom has a name in their birth certificate and passport, with a contraction of this name being common.

Can this person use the contracted form (e.g. Chris instead of Christopher or Christian) on legal documents such as an employment contract or lawyer correspondence, while their full name is used on government documents such as the birth certificate and election enrolment?

If limitations on this usage exist, what are they, and what is their basis in law?

  • This would be acceptable under the common law rule that originally prevailed in U.K. law and was received by U.S. common law jurisdictions, but I don't know if this remains good law in the U.K. – ohwilleke Aug 11 '17 at 23:20
  • So far as I'm aware, you can use any name by which you're known. The purpose of a name (usually together with an address) is to identify, not to authenticate: and abbreviated names are still perfectly good identification. – eggyal Feb 12 '18 at 11:52

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