What is a Process Agent?

by Elemental CoSec on January 15, 2013

A process agent in the UK is someone who is appointed to accept service of legal proceedings on behalf of their client. Although, in theory, anyone can make use of this service, it is generally used by non-UK companies doing business in the UK to provide a way for the UK party to serve proceedings.

Why is a process agent needed?

At first glance, it may seem a bit excessive to engage a process agent, but the reason is generally to protect the UK company rather than the overseas company who is engaging the process agent. It is commonly used in financial arrangements, where a UK bank or financial institution is dealing with an overseas company.

In the event that the UK bank is required to enforce their security, the Civil Procedure Rules can make it incredibly difficult to serve legal proceedings at an overseas address. The way around this is for the UK bank to require the overseas company to appoint a process agent upon which the UK bank can serve proceedings instead.

What should you look for in a process agent?

As the process agent will potentially be receiving legal proceedings on your behalf, it is essential that you trust the process agent and that they understand the requirements of their role.

As a general rule, the appointment of a process agent is undertaken towards the end of a large transaction, where there are numerous other things going on; it is therefore recommended that you choose an agent that makes the appointment process as smooth as possible and guide you through the steps.

How does it work?

The Civil Procedure Rules allow the parties to specify a contractual method for service in the loan document or other contract. Within this, it is common for the overseas party to specify who the process agent is and how service will be effected on them.

If service is effected, the process agent will then get in touch with the overseas company to forward on the relevant documents.

Elemental CoSec provides a reliable and professional process agent service. If you would like more information on this, please get in touch with them directly.

Elemental CoSec
Elemental CoSec is one of the top company secretarial firms in the UK, providing company secretarial services, administrative services and corporate services to a range of companies from small start-ups through to listed PLCs.
Elemental CoSec

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