Page v Combined Shipping and Trading Co Ltd: CA 24 May 1996

Mr Page was taken on to trade in commodities for the defendant for a minimum period of four years. Six months later the defendant’s parent company decided to cease trading activities, and he began proceedings claiming compensation under regulation 17 and applied for an injunction to prevent the defendant from moving its assets abroad. The judge dismissed the application on the grounds that, since the defendant could have operated the agreement for the remainder of its term in a way that would not have enabled him to make any money, he did not have an arguable case that he was entitled to recover a significant sum by way of damages.
Held: The claimant’s appeal succeeded. It was arguable that Mr Page was entitled to recover compensation under regulation 17(7) calculated by reference to the amount of commission he would have earned if the contract had been performed in accordance with the parties’ original intention. Staughton LJ: ‘commercial agents are a down-trodden race and need and should be afforded protection against their principals’. The preamble to the Directive: ‘points fairly strongly to an intention to depart from the domestic legal provisions of the various countries in the Community, or at any rate some of them, and achieve a regime which is new to some and will be the same for all.’ It was arguable that the Directive and the Regulations provided a remedy that was not available at common law.
Staughton LJ
[1997] 3 All ER 656, [1996] EWCA Civ 1312
Council Directive 86/653/EEC of 18 December 1986 on the coordination of the laws of the Member States relating to self-employed commercial agents 17, Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedIngmar GB Ltd v Eaton Leonard Inc QBD 31-Jul-2001
The applicants sought damages as commercial agents following the termination of their exclusive agency for the sale of the respondents goods in the UK. The defendants claimed the contract was governed exclusively by Californian law. The European . .
CitedTigana Ltd v Decoro Ltd QBD 3-Feb-2003
The claimant sought compensation after its sales agency agreement with the defendant was terminated. He had opened up several substantial sales channels for the respondent’s products within the UK. There were difficulties in the products (leather . .
CitedLonsdale v Howard and Hallam Ltd CA 8-Feb-2006
The claimant sought damages after his agency with the defendants was terminated. The central issue was whether compensation was to be calculated at two years commission as derived from French practice or otherwise.
Held: ‘there is no clear . .
CitedLonsdale (T/A Lonsdale Agencies) v Howard and Hallam Ltd HL 4-Jul-2007
The claimant sought compensation after his commercial agency was terminated. The court had found that the agency was declining in turnover, and reduced the compensation accordingly. There had been no written agreement for the agency, and six months’ . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 April 2021; Ref: scu.179834