The ability of an agent to retire on the grounds of age, illness or infirmity and claim compensation or indemnity under the Commercial Agents Regulations continues to surprise many principals. The fact that the estate of a dead agent has the same right if the agent dies during the course of an agency agreement, often causes more surprise.
Even allowing for this, what is sometimes overlooked is the different retirement ages in other member states of the European Union.
There is also the open issue of whether a sole shareholder – director who controls a limited company which acts as an agent can take advantage of these rights.
Ultimately, care is needed:
- by a principal in avoiding unnecessary exposure to its agent; and
- by an agent in the way in which he exercises these rights in respect of his retirement, illness, or infirmity.