On Saturday 10th January 2009, Laura Macgregor gave the keynote presentation at a symposium which celebrated the publication of her book "The Unauthorised Agent: Perspectives from European and Comparative Law" which she co-authored with Danny Busch. The symposium was hosted by the international law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek where Danny Busch works as a practising lawyer. The symposium and book launch also acted as an 'away day' event for members of the Edinburgh Centre for Commercial Law who attended to support Laura.
The distinguished academic Professor Reinhard Zimmermann of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany acted as the Chairperson. Laura Macgregor and Danny Busch began the symposium by exploring the focus and purpose of the book, namely a comparative examination of the legal situation created when an agent acts without authority – an issue which is an extremely important issue in agency law. Laura and Danny went on to explain that the analysis in the book is divided into three sections: apparent authority, ratification and the liability of the falsus procurator. The point was made that the book adopts a truly unique and wide-ranging comparative perspective with contributions drawn from many different legal systems, providing the opportunity for analysis of the European common law/civil law divide. The analysis in the book extends beyond Europe, however, taking into account the mixed legal system of South Africa, as well as the United States. Finally, there is a useful consideration of the Principles of European Contract Law and the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts 2004.
Laura's and Danny's introduction to the book was followed by presentations by the distinguished academics Professor Francis Reynolds FBA (Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford University and Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple), Professor Deborah Mott of Duke University and Professor Rick Verhagen of Radboud University, Nijmegen. Each of the speakers underscored the invaluable nature of the range of analysis in the book for those interested in the study of comparative agency law and the harmonisation of European Private Law.