- Agency—undisclosed commission—rescission—whether fiduciary relationship required (Wood v Commercial First Business)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Was a fiduciary relationship necessary?
- Did a fiduciary relationship exist?
- Were the payments secret or half secret commissions?
- Case details
Commercial analysis: The Court of Appeal held that it was neither necessary nor desirable to find a fiduciary duty in order to grant civil remedies for the payment of a bribe or secret commission. All that was required was to ask whether the recipient of the payment had been under a duty to provide advice or information on an impartial or disinterested basis. If so, both payer and payee of an undisclosed commission would be liable to all applicable civil remedies. The Court of Appeal also held that the relationships in the instant cases were fiduciary, and that the payments were fully secret commissions and not half secret commissions as alleged. Written by Charles Joseph, barrister at Tanfield Chambers.
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