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AGENTS, BUSINESS OWNERS AND ESTOPPEL

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2001

ANDREW TETTENBORN
Affiliation:
Bracton Professor of Law, University of Exeter
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Abstract

The law has long had to grapple with the person who owns a business but entrusts the running of it to a front man (or “front company”) while he himself remains hidden in the background. The problem is that the ostensible owner may be not worth suing, or that a customer's right of action may lie against him alone so as to prevent it being set-off against a claim by the true owner. Sometimes the law of agency may be available to remedy this situation by attaching liability to the actual business owner: but not always. This article suggests the possibility of using the doctrine of estoppel as a more general means of achieving the same object.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Cambridge Law Journal and Contributors 1998

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