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Commercial Law

Commercial Law (3rd edn)

Eric Baskind, Greg Osborne, and Lee Roach
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date: 03 October 2023

p. 604. The creation of the agency relationshiplocked

p. 604. The creation of the agency relationshiplocked

  • Eric Baskind, Eric BaskindSenior Lecturer in Law, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Greg OsborneGreg OsborneFormerly Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth
  •  and Lee RoachLee RoachSenior Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth


This chapter considers the various methods by which a relationship of agency can be created, namely, by agreement, by ratification, by operation of law (including agency by necessity), and arising due to estoppel. It should be noted that an agency relationship might be held to exist, even though the parties or one of the parties do not wish for it to exist, or have expressly declared that such a relationship does not exist. Equally, the fact that the parties describe themselves as ‘principal’ and ‘agent’ will not conclusively establish that a relationship of agency exists, and the courts will disregard such labels if the realities of the relationship indicate that it is not one of agency. An agency relationship can therefore be created consensually or non-consensually. The chapter also discusses preliminary issues such as the capacity of agent and principal, and the formalities needed to create a relationship of agency.

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