Secrets Revisited - Wood v Commercial First in the Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal has recently handed down judgment in two appeals raising the same issues of half and fully secret commissions. The resulting judgment clarifies the test for fully secret commissions, outlines when the more generous remedies for such commissions will be available and provides a useful examination of the relevance of agency retainers in the context of bribes.
James Saunders considered the first instance decision in Wood in late 2019 and in this article examines the approach taken to the issues by the Court of Appeal. The decision is of particular note for those advising any party to a commercial agreement which involves a negotiating or proposing intermediary, particularly as regards how much disclosure will suffice to negate a fully secret commission.
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