An Agency is a Tripartite Agreement between a Principal, Agent and Third Party

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The case took in concern here as the topic of discussion and evaluation of a historic case of controversy. The case was in the Queen’s Bench addressing the undisclosed liability of a business corporation conducts and hence files against the violation of the commercial law in United Kingdom. The case was hence in brief the linked with the dormant partner hiding the involvement of a third party liable for acts within the authority of the other partner. So many hearings, so many session have been conducted on the issue. Some decisions of sessions has criticizes the filer and some on the other party hence the dormant partner according to the British Law. Some also dismissed the appeal. The court in Queen’s Bench decided that defendant was the principal then the rules of principle applies in the case and established the fact that the third party can disclose principle on sued law. Hence, this decision is no longer applicable in some other states and countries outside the United Kingdom based on other international law. And hereby the decision of the Bench was questioned for its correctness.

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“An Agency is a Tripartite Agreement between a Principal, Agent and Third Party”

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Background of agency

Agency the word of a legal relationship which probably actually generally exists in between two people where they hold the mutual relationship of disclosed principle on contractual and legal position of authority in respect of strangers making the disposition of the property. Here, if the agency analyzed in the case of Watteau vs. Fenwick case, a case of historical controversy examining many of the reference to the case over last 110 years clears the stand of convertible standalone of the agency in this modern legal world. If the background is taken in concern for this historical case, there the plaintiff, Watteau who used to supply cigars to the beer house named Victoria located in Middleborough. Though Humble was the man who took care of the establishment of the house but acted actually as a manger. The real owner was the Fenwick and company. So, here it is evident that the actual contract relation is of two types here. One belongs to the disclosed contract and the other is not. The agency here lies in between of the Watteau and the house and another agency li of relationship of commercial operations among the Fenwick Company and the house manager Humble. One the creation of agency is completed according to the business strategies the agents are incorporated. Here Watteau did some operation and so did the Fenwick and Humble. The both agencies were must had been created by agreement. If the agreement was not in written or legally valid the court would dismiss the charge against the company so do the defendant of the case. Here the agents were in terms of Humble, Fenwick Company and Watteau and so do the Victoria beer house. The agencies here was created by ratification after these agents acted on behalf. In commercial there arise a necessity of mutual acts where one party if is deemed lets another to act on behalf. This necessity has actually made the controversy and case criticism of this historical Bench.

The three relationship

Any business or commercial acts of agency conducts can be classified on the basis of three agent classes in broad senses; they simply include universal agents, General agents and the last one is the special case agents. In most cases all business or commercial operations held the first two agent classes. If it is taken under concern what the things or mood of acts make this classes separate from each other that their act of conductivity is pointed upon for this distinction. For any kind of higher agencies universal agents take the task of working on behalf of the principal of the authority or agency where they also hold the attorney power or the responsibilities of absence of the agency authority. In this case Humble is the power in absence of Fenwick Company the real owner of the Victoria bear house. General agents actually performs the series of transaction for the authority and also over a continuous period for the contracted time. In the case of supplying cigars to Victoria bear house the transaction was made by the agent Plaintiff on behalf of Watteau and hereby the general agent for this agency of disclosed identity is the Plaintiff itself. And as per time continuity the business was being conducted among the two agency until the Fenwick identity came across the case filing against the undisclosed identity of Fenwick Company. However, as per the case filed the general agent activity get stopped hereby. Special agents actually work on special period of need and transaction purpose. As the house get to owe the supply cost for the Watteau agents the special agent of limited period of that time was the Fenwick Company which was the prior time of case filing against the bear house. Special agents need not to be hidden always rather their activity specializes the need of time or the crisis evaluation strategy of the commercial business conductivities. This in this case turned out as the state of undisclosed and violation of commercial law to the defendant of the case the Watteau cigar supplier.

Types of authority

Agents conducts on a specific principle being inside the scope of authorized operations conferred by his or her or their obligations and also against the third parties. However, the agents can be of several like actual authorization and apparent authorization. Both in this case of identity disclosed filled in from the defendant the position defer in terms of virtue. By virtue of the position here authority defers actually for the befall individuals and bound other partners in the agency like Humble himself. Though there are actually three types of authority found in business conducts dealing the actual authority, apparent authority and the special case is ratified authority that is not present in the relevant case study of the article. Actual Authority- in the case of Watteau vs. Fenwick does arises from consensual agreement whether the question of indemnity is present in this fact is not present or not. Actual authority can be exemplified into express and implied in their conducts. Also called usual authority the conduct of Watteau in this case is merely the expressive authorization of contractual breach over of contract liable to third party the Fenwick Company of the implied period of warrant of that contract. This authorization gives the partner Watteau of the business conduct to file case against the unauthorized ownership in specific the hidden ownership of the company for Victoria house. Apparent Authority- Ostensible or apparent authority in this case is concerned the authorization of Humbler’s principle of conduct and being the leading person of the Victoria ear house. In this case, to ratify transaction the agents worked as principle of without authorization of the Watteau accordingly and also above the business legal contracts among the agencies. Hereby the defendant has the point of self-defense but the British law declared something opposite to this contract or authorization which gave birth of future controversy and hearings of sessions to the end or at most to the Queen’s Bench from Cambridge court.


Fenwick is just a chain of departmental stores in England founded in lately 1882, the most independent business groups in the whole UK from the very early stage of the commercial business in the kingdom. John James Fenwick was the actual founder of this group however the actual store was opened at Newcastle. The company also created some shopping centers in past centuries around the kingdom of the states. Right the present period the company has it’s headquarter at Newcastle upon Tyne. However, on the period of this case the company actually was not that much big as it is in today. Well it was pretty influential on those days. The chain of the stores also included a bear shop or house in UK wherever, Watteau and Plaintiff used to supply cigars. The company has it’s secrete ownership before the suppliers and the ratify transaction was usually conducted by the manger Humble. This has led the supplier to have an assumption of identity hiding hence cheating on behalf of the Fenwick company and of course the company had to face a legal contradict from the supplier when they owe the supplied payment towards them.


Defendant of this case the Fenwick Company owned a hotel pub and recruited a manager named Humble there to manage he establishment. He actually was the special and ratified face of the business conductivity performed and owned actually by the Fenwick Company on a hidden identity of ownership. It does not ended there the license of the pub and on the bar also included the name of him rather the actual owner. The defender the Fenwick Company forbade Humble not to purchase or make suppliance of anything outside the permitted list which included mineral water, bottle ales, and some other pub essentials. But the company did not notify him the reason of the forbidden fact. Hence the acting owner, Humble was unaware of the fact of legal constraints in making any supplement with the cigar suppliers. However, Humble still signed the agreement with a cigar supplier as a means of purchasing the pub essentials and side supplementary products in the pub for extra earnings with Plaintiff. As the time passed, somehow Humble could not make proper payment in time. And the supplier of the cigar products, Plaintiff found that Humble is not the actual owner but Fenwick. He put a case to get his payment from the actual owner the defendant of the case.

Opinion of the Watteau

Watteau, the claimer of the damage actually claimed for its payment failed to be paid by Humble for they supply in time. Before the agreement they did not know about the actual and partner conductivity of the establishment of the beer pub. Bu, when the payment were not paid duly they made a research on the landlords and found the actual owner is store chain group of the whole United Kingdom and also capable of paying their damage. As far as they found the truth behind the agreement they make the company as defendant and filed the case for their damaged amount. As far their sayings it takes the following points in concern:

  1. The defendant is the real principle.
  2. The defendant is liable for any purchase and damage compensation
  3. The defendant is the express and parent authority itself.
  4. The defendant has hidden identity
  5. They should compensate for their undisclosed appearance and having agreement on that with the suppliers
  6. The defendant have to discover its agents and also with its proper principal and compensate their damages.

In the cases of undisclosed principle the company is deemed to have the usual authority but not the usual hidden character on behalf of Humble the acting partner of the company. The suppler Plaintiff, Watteau and Wills J used to analogous to the partnered arrangement for the authority limitation for true agencies.

Controversy of the case

The issue in concern of the case is that whether the defendant is liable for the damages resulting from the agreement among Plaintiff and Humble the acting owner of the establishment. The controversial point here is the owner’s liability above the agents conduct. The owner though forbade the acting authority not to purchase or make agreement, he did. The owner can deny the liability. But the case, is clear on the fact that actual owner of the land and establishment is regarded as the liable of any business transaction of that establishment not the acting personnel. The case in here, undermine the doctrine concern of authorized commercial conductivity. Violation of commercial law, contractual agreement, failure of payment on contracted agreement, absence of business principle of agent conductivity hence are mentioned in the litigations. Limitation of authority between the dormant and the active parent of Fenwick Company the law of partnership in this contrast is just nothing but general law of agent’s principle which is violated by the agent. It is hence undisputed under this point of discussion than that it appears[9]. The case while ins primary stage was decided against the defendant though it goes round the several high benches for further approval of the defended company. Though the decision of purchasing was taken by the acting partner the loss and damage were decided and hence ordered to be paid by the landlord. However, the owner can file another case against the acting owner for his misconduct and out of permission activities. Bust Benin stacked with the current controversy it is decided from the Queen’s Bench that the actual owner is liable to Plaintiff for the damage and make the proper payment of their supply.

Further case law

As per the law of the United Kingdom here most of the cases have previous historical impacts on the newer cases. This is not actually the only accustom of the British Law rather many supreme law and legal complexity cases follows the footprint of previous controversial and historical influential cases as in expertise. It gives the better understanding of law and the practice of the current critical solution proving a better decision for both the parties of each cases. As for the cases this has a long academic impacts for over 125 years of expertise experience in legal system of British supreme law and legal cohesion of authorized principal of agents. Though it has a question on its correctness it is not the improper one to be followed rather it should be discussed on both the sides for the better judiciary decision makings by the benches of legal defendants in UK legal houses. Many further cases has been paved through out past decades on and being influenced by this case. The case was conducted in the year 1893 the long ago of the modern era of commercial law. Hence it is a sample problem in most of the commercial legal cases of the Commonwealth and UK’ legal expertise. Today’s several agreement and authority complexity and defendant cases are based on the decision of that case and are hence solved based on the controversy of the case and also against the case. In most countries like Canada they do not accept the result of the decision of this case from Queen’s Bench as deal for their legal system also in USA’s todays congressman law system do not approve but in UK they follow this yet. The case also led to some further case filings where most of them are worthy enough to be exemplified likewise below:


The actual reasoning sometimes flawed by the decision according to the existing law. The case of Watteau vs. Fenwick here also make the controversy on the basis of this fewness. Though the public policy add a fair outcomes hence the decision on that Bench was not that much accepted by the people around the globe and criticized the case filing by Watteau. This case example though followed only once yet is in a list of historical bench of sessions against a defendant. This case study remains aside in Canada but widely discussed in the legal study inside the whole United Kingdom also in this modern legal study. Though the reasoning may be flawed but the decision was not correct on the basis of authority principle whilst the actual landlord forbade the acting partner about the purchasing credentials. The court hence need to look behind and get the actual reasoning for the case again to justify the actual decision made that year.

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An Agency is a Tripartite Agreement Between a Principal, Agent and Third Party. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from

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