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Agency and the use of signature machines

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

A recent High Court case illustrates that an agent may bind his principal to an agreement by use of a signature machine, provided the agent has the appropriate authority to use the machine. The court held that an agent had sufficient authority to enter into a personal contract of guarantee and indemnity using a signature machine on the principal’s behalf. The parties’ relationship was one of trust which lasted for over two decades, and it was held that the agent had not exceeded his authority in the particular circumstances. This case is a useful reminder for principals that they should create a clear record of the scope of their agents’ authority, to avoid and/or manage similar disputes.


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