Legal Updates

Property Law – Authority to Sign a Contract For and on Behalf of a Contracting Party


The law with regards to signing contracts for and on behalf of third parties was laid down by the Court of Appeal in the recent case of McLaughlin v Duffill [2009] EWCA Civ 1627. In this Court of Appeal decision, the court confirmed that under section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, authority is not required to be given in writing in order for a third party to sign a contract on behalf of a contracting third party.

Under section 53 of the Law of Property Act 1925, there is a requirement for authority to be given in writing for any deed disposing of an interest in land which would be executed by an agent on behalf of a seller or buyer. Therefore, the agent acting must be lawfully authorised to act for and on behalf of the third party either in writing or by will or by operation of law.

Practical: We would always advise that, although not a legal necessity under section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, authority to sign on behalf of a contracting party is given in writing to avoid any dispute later on. 

Contact us:enquiries@rtcooperssolicitors.com

© RT COOPERS, 2009 This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

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