Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Find your question and answer from the below list or submit your question from the submit box.
Full Online Appointment Process
You can appoint us at any time, regardless of weekends or public holidays. Immediately following completion of the simple and quick online appointment process, we will issue confirmation of the appointment so that you don’t have to wait.
Competitive Pricing Structures
Our pricing is competitive, straightforward and transparent. For an instant quote you can use the Fee Calculator on our home page. Unlike some service providers, we do not charge for every legal document in respect of the same transaction and we offer a 50% discount for multiple appointments in respect of the same document. We are also happy to discuss additional discounts with clients that anticipate significant volumes of process agent appointment business.
As qualified solicitors we are also professionally bound not to disclose to third parties any information related to our appointment, your contact details, or underlying agreements or transactions without seeking your express permission.
Expertise and Experience
With backgrounds working for leading London-based private practice law firms and as senior in-house lawyers for global financial services companies, we recognise that in global financial transactions, time and speed are of the essence, both at the appointment stage and if a claim is served. As legal practitioners, we fully understand that any delay in responding to the service of documents can result in a default judgment, additional costs and sometimes reputational damage. Therefore, we apply great care and caution when handling each appointment and rely on strict protocols to ensure timely delivery of legal proceedings to your designated contact for each appointing party.
More generally, our long experience of working on financing, derivative and commercial transactions means we know first-hand the challenges sometimes involved in process agent appointment and we are aware of and take into account the nature and complexity of such transactions when providing you with process agent services.
We have a robust database that identifies the transactions for which we are appointed, records and updates our clients’ contact information and that tracks when process agent appointments come to expiry and when court papers has been served.
What is a process agent?
In the context of the jurisdiction of England and Wales, a process agent (also known as an “agent for service of legal process”) will, once appointed, act as a representative to receive and deliver, on behalf of and in accordance with its clients instructions, certain court papers and notices arising out of a commercial or financial contract governed by English law to which its client is a party.
Why is a process agent needed?
If you are party to an agreement governed by English law and you want to start proceedings in English courts against another party to that agreement, you will need to serve court papers on that other party. If that other party does not have a physical presence or address within England and Wales, the process for serving those court papers abroad (in whichever jurisdiction the relevant party has its presence) can be complex, time-consuming, costly and uncertain. You might also need to obtain the permission of the English courts to serve outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales because, under English courts’ procedural rules, it is necessary to “serve court papers” to validly commence legal proceedings.
Process agents thus act in situations where, usually because of contractual obligations but also because of English courts’ procedures, it is not possible or efficient for such court papers and notices to be served abroad.
It is therefore customary (and often required by lending banks or other financial institutions) for an overseas entity entering into an agreement governed by English law to appoint an English process agent and agree that the service at the address of the process agent will constitute proper service for the purpose of English courts’ procedural requirements.
For example, let’s contemplate a scenario in which a large European bank lends money to a corporate borrower in India. During the life of the transaction, there is a default or breach under the terms of a loan agreement governed by English law and this agreement allows for disputes to be resolved under the jurisdiction of the English courts and names Process Agent Limited as the appointed process agent for the borrower. Let’s further envisage that court papers (such as a summons) are served by the lenders on the borrower. If the borrower has no presence or establishment in England, court papers will be delivered to the English process agent required by and named in the loan agreement.
Types of dealings that require the appointment of a process agent are many. Some of these dealings may be foreign businesses transactions with suppliers or tenders in the UK, some may be raising a loan from City institutions, others are transactions in credit financing, aviation leasing and financing, large property transactions, pre-export financing, derivative trading, commodities’ trading, debt, equity capital market offering and private placement.
Appointing a professional process agent provides parties to global financing, derivatives or commercial transactions with comfort that the legal process will not be mishandled or delayed, thus avoiding potentially costly default judgments, further litigation and/or reputational damage.
Even if you have a presence in England (perhaps through a company incorporated in England, or a branch office) we recommend that you review your options regarding the most cost and risk effective solution for your process agent’s needs. It is important to consider the importance of time constraints and reliability of service. Choosing, for example, a branch office that is not staffed to fully support its appointment as process agent might save money in the short term but could result in additional legal risks and costs in the longer term.
We also recommend you seek the services of a professional process agent early in the execution of your transactions. A professional and responsive process agent, though a small cog in the larger mechanism of a financing deal, can be a valued business partner which plays its role in ensuring a smooth execution of the overall deal.
The good news is that the majority of international commercial and financial transactions are successful deals that do not end up before the courts.
Our form of confirmation of appointment letter can be viewed by clicking here
For most clients our form of confirmation of appointment letter will be satisfactory but if you (or your contractual counterparty) require a bespoke form of appointment letter please contact us and we will make every effort to accommodate your requirements.
Yes. Our VAT registration number is 278 0758 64
Yes, we have professional indemnity and cyber insurance.
Yes. For complex transactions or if you prefer to appoint us as your process agent manually rather than using the online appointment process we offer a quick and simple offline appointment service. Please contact us so we can discuss your requirements.
- the appointment is in respect of the same transaction (meaning the main transaction in respect of which there are one or more agreements to be signed) as the main appointer,
- the additional appointers have the same Service Contact Party (the person we will contact in the event we are served) and the same Authorised Person (the person who is authorised to give us instructions once we have been appointed) as the main appointer, and
- our invoice for providing the services is to go to the same person as for the main appointer or, if payment is to be made by credit or debit card, the payment is to be made by the same person who will pay for the main appointer.
If these details are not the same as for the main appointer then you will need to start a new online appointment process for each additional appointer.
Also, please note that at the end of the online appointment process, only one confirmation of appointment letter will be generated. It will be addressed to all appointers (the main appointer and each additional appointer) but only the full address of the main appointer will be shown on the letter.
For complex transactions which require multiple appointments or if you need separate confirmation of appointment letters for each additional appointer we advise you to contact us before you start an online appointment so we can advise you on the best way to proceed.
Terminology is explained below. Also see our Terminology A-Z
The person who acts as agent, legal advisor or otherwise on behalf of the Appointer for the purposes of appointing us as the Appointer’s Process Agent.
For example, if a law firm goes onto our website appoints us on behalf of its client using our online appointment process then that law firm will be the Appointer’s Agent.
Service Contact Party
This is the person we will contact in the event we accept Service of Process on the Appointer’s behalf.
In many cases this will be the same as the Appointer but some clients may wish to choose a different person.
For example, if a client nominates its law firm then, if we receive notice of proceedings against the Appointer, we will contact that law firm and ask for their instructions as to where they want the relevant documents sent.
This is the person or persons nominated during the appointment process by the Appointer or (if applicable) the Appointer’s Agent as the person who we will take instructions from after we are appointed as Process Agent.
In many cases this will be the Appointer but could be the Appointer’s Agent or, if different from the Appointer, the Service Contact Party.
For an online appointment, no. We have to be appointed for the same length of time for all agreements in respect of any one online appointment.
If, for example, an Appointer is entering into 5 agreements and wants to appoint us as its process agent for a 3 year period for 3 of the agreements and for a 8 year period for the other 2 agreements then either (i) it can appoint us online by doing 2 online appointments (1 appointment for 3 years for 3 of the agreements and 1 appointment for 8 years for 2 of the agreements), or (ii) it can contact us and we can do an offline manual appointment.
In situations when there are additional appointers and they have signed the same contracts as the main appointer you can cross refer to the contract entry made under the main appointer’s name to avoid having to list out all the parties again.
For example, if the main appointer (A Inc) and two additional appointers (B Inc and C Inc) are all parties to a loan agreement you should list all parties in A Inc’s contract entry but for B Inc and C Inc simply put “same as for A Inc” in the Parties to Agreement column for their contract entries. See example below:
Yes, please see attached document.
No. We just need sufficient information to ensure we can identify the transaction if we are served. In the case of syndicated loan agreements we suggest you enter (where applicable) the mandated lead arrangers, underwriters, facility agent, security trustee and issuing bank as a minimum.