A Case harshly treated? Watteau v Fenwick re-evaluated

Kevin M. Rogers

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Abstract

The decision of Wills J in the case of Watteau v Fenwick1 has met with a vast amount of criticism throughout the course of the last century. Academics have condemned the decision because the case decided that an undisclosed principal could be held liable for an act of the agent, which had been expressly forbidden. Furthermore the judiciary, both within the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, have on the whole decided to either to distinguish the case or ignore the decision. However despite this, the case has yet to have been overruled and so currently stands as good law. This article seeks to provide a re-evaluation of the decision. It examines many of the references to the case over the last 110 years and provides a conclusion, which virtually stands alone in the modern legal world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHertfordshire Law Journal
Volume2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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