Commercial Agency Agreements: Law and Practice (4Th Edition)

By Harles, Guy | Business Law International, January 2017 | Go to article overview

Commercial Agency Agreements: Law and Practice (4Th Edition)


Harles, Guy, Business Law International


Commercial Agency Agreements: Law and Practice (4th Edition) Susan Singleton Bloomsbury Professional (2015); 396pp (hardback); ?140 ISBN 9781780434834

This book, Commercial Agency Agreements: Law and Practice, in its fourth edition, is the output of an 18-year effort to provide the reader with a deep understanding of the law of agency. The focal point of the book is to address the standard commercial agency agreement, while analysing the impact of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 on local United Kingdom law.

In short, the law of agency is an area of commercial law that deals with a set of contractual, quasi-contractual, non-contractual or fiduciary relationships that involve a person (generally referred to as the agent), who is authorised to act on behalf of another (generally referred to as the principal) to create legal relations with third parties. Susan Singleton, through her many years of experience, addresses in a pragmatic and practical way the real daily challenges that occur when dealing with commercial agency agreements. A quick glance at the table of contents confirms that the book indeed attempts to provide a wide-ranging and encompassing look at various practical topics in relation to agency agreements instead of addressing the legal aspects of such agreements in a purely theoretical way. The book is divided into two parts: the first part, which is subdivided into eight chapters, gives a general introduction to commercial agency law and continues by exposing the life cycles of agency agreements, the relationship between agent, principal and third parties, and the possible legal problems that may occur during the contractual relationship; the second part, which consists of four appendices, supplements the first part. After reading the first part, the reader will gain an insight into all the relevant information that he/she may need when confronted with commercial agency agreements. From that point on, the legal practitioner will be tempted to use the second part of the book rather than the first one, consisting of commercial agency laws and materials. With a bullet-point structure, the second part enables the reader quickly to find all the information that he/she may need to address one particular legal problem, rather than having to read entire parts of the book.

The material in the book is organised on a thematic basis. As mentioned previously, the book consists of eight chapters. Each part has several nonnumerated subdivisions, which may contain questions and answers. The first chapter provides for a theoretical examination of the characteristics of an agent and prepares the reader to explore the perplexing array of commercial agency agreements, by giving simple explanations, definitions and guidance to understand the essence of the matter. Even during the introduction, the author does not hesitate to mention an important number of case studies and the impact of local and European Union (EU) decisions on this particular area of law. This provides evidence that the law reigning over commercial agents cannot be explored simply through a theoretical analysis of the law.

The second chapter of the book continues logically with the duties of the agent and principal. While reading, it starts to become clear that the book is not only designed for legal practitioners. Throughout the book, the author addresses commercial and entrepreneurial problems, for example, which agent/principal shall be chosen? …

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