AgentBase UK - Sales Agents, The National Sales Agent Register

AgentBase UK - Sales Agents, The National Sales Agent Register

Legal Articles Resource Centre

You will find below links to all of our most recent and archived Legal Surgery publications.


Missed sales target might not deprive a commercial agent of a termination payment
Legal Surgery Oct 2017

To do … or not to do - these are the questions
Legal Surgery Sep 2017

Diamonds are not a Commercial Agent's best friend
Legal Surgery Aug 2017

What is the secret to a successful agency?
Legal Surgery Jul 2017

Q & As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Jun 2017

Agents and distributors: the issues of confidential commercial information and personal data
Legal Surgery May 2017

Clarification from the courts on valuing agencies
Legal Surgery Apr 2017

A question of interpretation
Legal Surgery Mar 2017

Breaking up is hard to do
Legal Surgery Feb 2017

Good housekeeping - Keeping pipelines very clear!
Legal Surgery Jan 2017

The Commercial Agents Regulations mean I have access to justice, right?
Legal Surgery Dec 2016

Commercial agents and software - goods rather than services?
Legal Surgery Nov 2016

The criminal law of bribery in commercial agency relationships
Legal Surgery Oct 2016

Brexit - What does it mean for the Commercial Agents Regulations?
Legal Surgery Sep 2016

Brexit - how might sales agents or their principals be affected?
Legal Surgery Aug 2016

How does a Court value a compensation claim?
Legal Surgery Jul 2016

Who qualifies as a “new customer” when calculating an indemnity payment?
Legal Surgery Jun 2016

Brexit - the end for the Commercial Agents Regulations?
Legal Surgery May 2016

James Bond in reverse - an agent for a foreign company
Legal Surgery Apr 2016

When might compensation be better for a principal than indemnity?
Legal Surgery Mar 2016

Post-termination payments for agents
Legal Surgery Feb 2016

Can an agent bring a discrimination claim against his principal?
Legal Surgery Jan 2016

Interpreting the agency contract.
Legal Surgery Dec 2015

Exclusivity, sole, and nonexclusivity - what it can mean for you.
Legal Surgery Nov 2015

When is an agent entitled to commission?
Legal Surgery Oct 2015

Q & As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Sep 2015

Much Obliged to You! The respective obligations of Principal and Agent.
Legal Surgery Aug 2015

Am I a Commercial Agent?
Legal Surgery Jul 2015

Pipeline Commission or Pipe Dream?
Legal Surgery Jun 2015

What is the value of an Agent's compensation on termination?
Legal Surgery May 2015

Q & As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Apr 2015

Amending the Territory: Principals be alert, Agents be aware!
Legal Surgery Mar 2015

How does a commercial agent aquire a customer for a principal?
Legal Surgery Feb 2015

Q & As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Jan 2015

Goods & Services: What's the difference?
Legal Surgery Dec 2014

Q & As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Nov 2014

Turn to Face The Change
Legal Surgery Oct 2014

Retirement Planning for Commercial Agents
Legal Surgery Sep 2014

Guidance on how to calculate compensation
Legal Surgery Aug 2014

What if my principal is in breach of our agreement?
Legal Surgery Jul 2014

Q & As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Jun 2014

Q & As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery May 2014

To What Extent are Termination Payments Taxable?
Legal Surgery Apr 2014

Sub-Agents Left Out in the Cold
Legal Surgery Mar 2014

What does your agency agreement say about compensation?
Legal Surgery Feb 2014

Law applicable to agency agreements reconsidered
Legal Surgery Jan 2014

Commercial agent's right to commission on incomplete orders
Legal Surgery Dec 2013

Q&As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Nov 2013

When will an Agent's breach of contract mean loss of post-termination compensation?
Legal Surgery Oct 2013

Q&As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Sep 2013

When is an Agent a Commercial Agent?
Legal Surgery Aug 2013

An Age-Old Question.
Legal Surgery Jul 2013

The importance of having a choice of law clause in agency contracts.
Legal Surgery Jun 2013

Commercial Agency Law Frequently Asked Questions
Legal Surgery May 2013

Where should a principal be sued?
Legal Surgery Apr 2013

Watch what you say about your principal!
Legal Surgery Mar 2013

Can an Agent act for competing principals?
Legal Surgery Feb 2013

Q&As on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Jan 2013

Why being an overly aggresive litigator may cost you your dream home!
Legal Surgery Dec 2012

Goods & Servces - What's the difference?
Legal Surgery Nov 2012

How much for your agency?
Legal Surgery Oct 2012

Q & A's on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Sep 2012

Q & A's on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Aug 2012

The End of the Affair - Mutual decisions and compensation
Legal Surgery Jul 2012

Termination of an Agency. Should you consider Mediation?
Legal Surgery Jun 2012

Defining a Commercial Agent
Legal Surgery May 2012

Can an Agent act for competing principals?
Legal Surgery Apr 2012

Goods or Services under the Regulations?
Legal Surgery Mar 2012

Transferring Agency Agreements
Legal Surgery Feb 2012

Conflict of interest
Legal Surgery Jan 2012

Q & A's on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Dec 2011

Q & A's on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Nov 2011

Q & A's on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Oct 2011

Q & A's on Agency Law
Legal Surgery Sep 2011

Is it a good idea for an agent to have a written agreement?
Legal Surgery Aug 2011

Q's and A's on agency law
Legal Surgery Jul 2011

European Court of Justice Rules on Denial of Indemnity to a Commercial Agent
Legal Surgery Apr 2011

Commercial Agency Compensation & Termination Risk
Legal Surgery Mar 2011

Legal Update: Case Report
Legal Surgery Feb 2011

Breach of Contract in Commercial Agency Law
Legal Surgery Jan 2011

Commercial Agency Law: Gledhill v Bentley Designs
Legal Surgery Dec 2010

Commercial Agents Regulations Cannot Be Avoided By Choosing Non-EU Law and Arbitration
Legal Surgery Nov 2010

Commercial Agency Valuation - don't ignore the positive factors
Legal Surgery Oct 2010

Retirement and the Commercial Agents Regulations
Legal Surgery Sep 2010

Agency compensation: do £20k agencies have any value?
Legal Surgery Aug 2010

Why agents should think twice before telling their principal exactly what they think of him!
Legal Surgery Jul 2010

Commercial Agents Update 2010 (Part 3)
Legal Surgery Jun 2010

Commercial Agents Update 2010 (Part 2)
Legal Surgery Apr 2010

Commercial Agents Update 2010 (Part 1)
Legal Surgery Mar 2010

Date of Termination of a Commercial Agency Agreement
Legal Surgery Feb 2010

Commercial Agency Agreements and Restrictive Covenants
Legal Surgery Dec 2009

Agents Trading under Their Own Name Not Subject to Regulations
Legal Surgery Nov 2009

What are my Duties as an Agent?
Legal Surgery Oct 2009

How can I check whether my commission payments are correct?
Legal Surgery Sep 2009

Termination: When will I be entitled to Compensation or an Indemnity?
Legal Surgery Aug 2009

Regulation 17 Compensation: A Practical Overview and How You Can Negotiate the Correct Amount
Legal Surgery Jul 2009

Potential Impact of Brand Names on Indemnity Payments to Commercial Agents
Legal Surgery Jun 2009

Repeated Minor Breaches of Contract can Constitute Repudiatory Breach
Legal Surgery May 2009

Should Agents have Written Contracts?
Legal Surgery Mar 2009


A Change in the law regarding compensation


If there is a compensation clause

Following the case of Lonsdale vs Howard & Hallam in the House of Lords it was established that the amount of compensation will be equal to that which he would have received if he was selling the agency on the open market. This means that every case would be judged on its own merits and subject to an agreed valuation.


At the time of writing, such cases are being settled at about equal to 2 years commission less expenses. It is therefore somewhat of a lottery to have a compensation clause written into the contract. It is obviously more expensive to fight and the outcome is dependant on the monetary success of the Agency at the point of termination.


Unfortunately you do not know this when signing the agreement. It must be noted that, except where the contract says otherwise, the agent shall be compensated rather than indemnified.


There is no change in the legal position if your agreement has an indemnity clause. i.e. It equates to a figure of around one years commission based on the average last five years commission.



FACT: Approximately 80% of Self Employed Agents do not have a formal Agreement

Even if you do not have a formal agreement with your principal or principals you have a degree of protection under the Commercial Agents Regulations 1993. This regulation is in force whether or not you have a formal agreement and, in a lot of cases, will override what might be written in the formal agreement.


Every Agent should have a copy of this Regulation which can be downloaded from:


Many Agents have dealt with their principals for many years and prefer to work on the 'gentleman's handshake' principal and it works well in many cases. However, in interviewing many Agents, we come across many instances of unprincipled Principals who use Agents as easily disposable labour.



FACT: Your independent role

As an agent you must do all you can to stress your independence. Most buyers in the UK are used to being called on mainly by employed salespeople and, if not told otherwise, will treat you in the same light. They expect employed salespeople to give them a biased view. They make their assessments on this view.


Find every opportunity to reinforce your role as an advisor rather than a salesperson. A useful tactic is to tell him of your other agencies, even if they are of no interest to him as a buyer. Always say 'they' rather than 'we' when talking to him about any of the agencies you hold. Always be ready to take the customers side, assuming he is correct, in any dispute with your principal. Remember they are your customers! They are your main asset.