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Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

10. The Law of Agency  

This chapter begins by defining agency—the relationship which exists between the agent and the principal—and considers the legal relationships created between an agent, his principal, and a third party. It then discusses the different methods by which an agency relationship may be created. The chapter explains the extent of an agent’s authority, the power of an agent to bind his principal, and the rights and duties of an agent. The relationship between agent, principal, and third party is explored and the different rules relating to disclosed and undisclosed agencies. Finally, the termination of an agency relationship is considered and examples of different types of agencies highlighted.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

8. The law of agency  

This chapter examines the key provisions of the law of agency. It highlights the importance of agency for the business sector and explains that an agency is a specific form of legal relationship between two persons whereby one person appoints another person to act on his behalf. An agency can be created by express or implied agreement, through the agent’s apparent authority, and when the principal ratifies the purported agent’s act. This chapter also discusses the duties and rights of the principal and agent, and the relationships that exist between agent, principal, and third party. Finally, the chapter discusses the various ways in which a relationship of agency can be terminated.

Chapter

Cover Sealy and Hooley's Commercial Law

7. Relations between principal and agent  

D Fox, RJC Munday, B Soyer, AM Tettenborn, and PG Turner

This chapter focuses on the rights and obligations of the principal and the agent between themselves, whether arising from a contract between them or from the fiduciary nature of their relationship. However, those rights and obligations may also derive from other sources, for example tort, statute, or the law of restitution. There is detailed consideration of the duties of the agent, such as the duty of care and skill and fiduciary duties, as well as the rights relating to remuneration, reimbursement and indemnity, and lien. The chapter also discusses the ways by which agency may be terminated.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

4. The creation of the agency relationship  

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 agency 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.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

18. Businesses and the Responsibility to Agents  

This chapter identifies agency relationships, their prevalence in business, and how the agency exists to bind the principal in contracts with third parties. It begins by defining agency as the relationship that exists between two persons when one, called the agent, is considered in law to represent the other, called the principal, in such a way as to be able to affect the principal’s legal position in respect to strangers to the relationship by the making of contracts or the disposition of property. Agencies exist in corporate organizations, sole trader, and partnership trading structures, and the law in this area applies to many relationships and is frequently seen in commercial enterprises, including high street retailers, between partners, and the directors of a corporation.

Chapter

Cover Sealy and Hooley's Commercial Law

5. Creation of agency, and the authority of the agent  

D Fox, RJC Munday, B Soyer, AM Tettenborn, and PG Turner

This chapter focuses on the creation of the principal–agent relationship and the authority of the agency and the four ways of creating it: through an express or implied agreement between the principal and the agent; under the doctrine of apparent authority; by operation of law; and through ratification of an unauthorised agent’s acts by the principal. Agency arising out of agreement will always be consensual, but it need not be contractual. After explaining how the agency relationship is created, the chapter examines the authority of the agent such as actual authority, apparent authority, and usual authority.