The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Agency is an arrangement under which a principal appoints an agent to act at its direction for specified purposes.
In particular, agents are commonly appointed for the purposes of introducing and concluding agreements with new contacts and/or customers. Agency law thus deals with the relationships between:
principal and agent
agent and third party, and
principal and third party
Note that specific provisions may apply to commercial agents which are outside the scope of this note. For more information, see Practice Notes:
Relationship of commercial agent and principal
Termination of commercial agency arrangements
An agency is normally express, ie the parties agree that their relationship is that of principal and agent. It may also be implied from the conduct of the parties and all the circumstances of the relationship (Garnac Grain Company Inc v HMF Faure), however the fact that a number of factors indicate an agency relationship does not mean that such a relationship is established (see National Bank of Kazakhstan v Bank of New York Mellon, together with the related News Analysis: Undisclosed principal, conflict of laws and foreign attachment order (National Bank of Kazakhstan v Bank of New York Mellon SA/NV London)).
As noted in Acer Investment Management Ltd v Mansion Group Ltd:
‘There are many different types of relationship which are labelled “agency”, but the label does not determine
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