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Commercial Agents: The Law – a brief overview

18 August 2017 | Richard Gore

 The terms of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993/3053) (as amended) (‘the Regulations’) implement Council Directive 86/653 [1986] OJ L382/17 (‘the Directive’). The Regulations came into force on 1 January 1994 and contain important provisions affecting the relations between commercial agents and their principals.

At Gregg Latchams we have specialist expertise in the law relating to commercial agents and extensive experience of handling claims under the Regulations both on behalf of commercial agents and their principals.

In broad terms, a ‘commercial agent’ comprises a self-employed intermediary who negotiates or concludes sales or purchases of “goods” on behalf of his principal. The Regulations provide an entitlement to an ‘indemnity’ or ‘compensation’ on termination effected by the principal and set out certain duties owed between commercial agents and their principals. They also contain provisions relating to the basis of remuneration of commercial agents, the termination of commercial agencies and the validity of restraint of trade clauses.

In other respects, relations between commercial agents and their principals are governed by the common law, equity and, to a more limited extent, other legislation applicable to agents and their principals.

When advising in this area we often work with specialist barristers such as Andrew Marsden of Commercial Chambers, Bristol ( Andrew has published a really useful guide to the the law and practice in this area and you can access or download a copy here.

Please contact Richard Gore to discuss any commercial agency issues arising from this article.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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