In the UK, a process agent is an ambassador for a business or third party individual. They are contracted to accept and have access to legal documents which belong to that business or individual, in circumstances involving court or arbitration processes.
A problem with serving court documents is it is can be an issue when a company or individual does not have a UK address. As all parties must adhere to the law when conducting business transactions, it has become routine (sometimes, necessary) for a process agent to be hired, so court proceedings can continue even when the recipient of documents is not physically present.
Benefits of Hiring a Process Agent
The laws associated with arbitration and other court actions are extremely controlled and many companies find it tough to fulfil their obligations. This difficulty is further amplified if the individual or company does not conduct their business from the UK.
Therefore, one of the biggest advantages of hiring a process agent is the agent’s ability to take control of the process on behalf of the recipient. In addition, once you have a process agent in place, you will find this situation appeals to other businesses. It is likely to make them more interested in partnering up with you, doing business, and forging connections. They know that because there’s a qualified representative in the country, they won’t have any trouble delivering court documents if it ever becomes necessary.
For instance, if a Dutch business wants to take out a line of credit which is governed by UK law, it is very likely that the lender will ask them to hire a process agent first. This agent will be given the relevant paperwork and be expected to handle court orders if the terms of the credit are breached.
These days, it is very common for corporate transactions to involve multiple countries, so having a process agent can be a valuable tool. It soothes the worries of business partners and ensures that the proper actions can be taken if any of the parties do breach the terms of an agreement.
People Eligible to Become Process Agents
The truth is that almost anybody can become a process agent, given that they are physically based in the UK and there are no legal reasons why they cannot do the job. However, the recommendation is to always to pick somebody who understands your business and can argue on its behalf in the event of legal conflicts.
Apart from legal know how, the process agent should be accessible most of the time. While it is acceptable for an agent to be restricted to business hours, the hiring party needs to be sure that these hours will overlap if there are different time zones at play.
This post is for general information purposes only. The information presented is not intended as legal advice, and is not to be acted on as such.