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The Court of Appeal has ordered a defendant to disclose e-mails to the claimant company on the basis of their former relationship as agent and principal. The court confirmed that the principal was entitled to require production by the agent of documents relating to its affairs. Materials held and stored on a computer, which could be displayed in readable form on a screen or printed out on paper, were in principle covered by the same incidents of agency as applied to paper documents.
The case highlights one of the issues a business should think about when considering whether to appoint, or accept appointment as, an agent. This checklist explains the circumstances in which a business may want to engage the services of an agent.