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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.

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 Sealy and Hooley's Commercial Law

6. Relations with third parties  

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

This chapter examines how contracts made by the agent affect the legal relations of the principal with regard to third parties. When considering the rights and liability arising under a contract made by an agent, it is important to draw the distinction between whether the agent was acting for a disclosed or undisclosed principal, the latter being an important feature of English agency law largely unknown to civil lawyers. This chapter discusses generally the relations between principal and third party, and between agent and third party, in the context of both disclosed and undisclosed agency.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

8. Relations between agent and third party  

This chapter considers the relations between the agent and third party. The typical function of an agent is to affect the legal position of his principal in relation to third parties, typically achieved by the agent effecting contractual relations between his principal and a third party or third parties. To this contract, the agent is usually a stranger and it therefore follows that, providing all parties perform their obligations, there will be no legal relations between the agent and third party, aside from any warranty of authority that might be deemed to exist. If the parties, however, fail to properly perform their obligations, legal relations between the agent and third party may arise that allow one party to sue, or be sued by, the other. This chapter discusses the general rule, and also those situations where the agent and third party will acquire a cause of action against the other.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

3. An introduction to the law of agency  

This chapter discusses the law of agency, which is a complex, subtle, and often misunderstood subject. Understanding it is, however, important, especially given the extent to which it can affect commercial and other areas of the law. It has also been established that, for many businesses, the use of agents is invaluable, and significant areas of commercial activity could not continue without the existence of agency. Several basic foundation issues relating to the law of agency, such as the sources of agency law and the various types of agent that exist, are discussed here. The chapter begins by determining the legal meaning of ‘agency’. Unfortunately, whilst many definitions of agency exist, the concept is ‘notoriously slippery and difficult to define’, according to Bowstead and Reynolds. The chapter also looks at the various forms of agent, including the development of the commercial agent.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

6. Relations between principal and agent  

This chapter discusses the legal relationships that exist between the principal and agent, and, in particular, focuses on the duties that each party owes to the other. The precise scope and content of these duties will depend upon a number of factors, including whether the agency is contractual or gratuitous, whether the agent is acting within the scope of his authority, whether the agent is a specific type of agent upon whom extra duties are placed, and whether the agent is a commercial agent or not. There are legal relationships that can exist between the three parties involved in a typical legal relationship, namely, the relationships between principal and agent, between principal and third party, and between agent and third party. The chapter begins by discussing the duties that an agent owes to his principal.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

7. Relations between principal and third party  

This chapter examines the relationship that exists between principal and third party, focusing in particular on the liability that exists between principal and third party, and those instances when they can sue, and be sued by, the other. Liability principally arises in contract and tort, and so these two areas of liability will be discussed, beginning with the contractual liability of the principal and third party. The contractual relationship between the principal and third party, and the extent to which one party can be liable to the other, can be complex and depends upon a number of variables, notably whether the principal is disclosed or undisclosed. In a typical agency relationship an agent will effect a contract between his principal and a third party, after which the agent will ‘drop out’ of the transaction.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law Concentrate

12. The creation of agency and the agent’s authority  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter focuses on the creation of agency and its three main parties: the agent, the principal, and the third party. The primary purpose of the agent is to bring the principal and the third party into direct contractual relations, with the principal taking on the rights and liabilities created by the contracts, provided the agent had authority to act. The chapter looks at several kinds of agent’s authority, including actual authority, apparent authority, and usual authority, and also considers agency of necessity as well as cases where the principal may ratify a transaction.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law Concentrate

13. The relationships created by agency: the rights and liabilities of the parties  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter focuses on the relationships created by agency, namely, the rights and liabilities of the agent, the principal, and the third party. It first explains disclosed agency as opposed to undisclosed agency with regard to the contract made by the agent, and then, after discussing the rights and liabilities of the principal and the third party, considers the rights of the agent against their principal, including remuneration, indemnity, and lien. The chapter examines the agent’s two kinds of duty to their principal (contractual duty and fiduciary duty) and discusses remedies for breach of fiduciary duty and how an agency may be terminated as well as the effects of termination. It concludes by highlighting the provisions of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.