So answering a question to do with usual authority, however struggling to understand basics of criticism involved in this. Particularly the argument of it could be apparent authority and was applied wrong in the case
Would anyone be able to clarify please?
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Agency law Watteau v Fenwick watch
- Thread Starter
- 12-03-2018 16:05
- 12-03-2018 16:25
In Watteau v Fenwick the principal (the brewer) was undisclosed and the third party (the claimant cigar vendor) had no idea that he was dealing with an agent (Mr Humble, the manager of the Victoria Hotel).
It follows from the facts that the case can have nothing to do with apparent authority.
There can only be apparent authority where T is aware of P's existence *and* P says or does something (i.e. represents in some way) that A has authority to bind P.
In some cases the thing that P does can be simply putting A in a position where a reasonable third party would assume that A had authority. So if I go into Tesco, I reasonably assume that the cashier has authority to conclude contracts on behalf of Tesco for the goods on sale in the store for the prices affixed next to them on the shelf. Tesco (acting via its more senior managers) doesn't need to say or do anything else to give the cashier authority, and even if, in fact, they told an individual cashier that he cannot sell, say, toothpaste, they would still be bound if the cashier did sell me some toothpaste.
That is a case where the principal is disclosed. The sign on the door says Tesco, the shop is branded Tesco, and the cashier's shirt probably says Tesco. I reasonably assume I am dealing with Tesco.
That should not (but in Watteau, did) apply where the principal is undisclosed and the third party has no idea that there is any principal lurking behind the scenes until he fortuitously finds out about it later. The third party did not rely at the time of concluding the contract on any representation made by the principal.