Commercial Agency Update: Implications of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023


In May 2023, the UK Government changed its plan to revoke all EU-derived laws, which would have included the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the Regulations).

The Retained EU Law Bill prescribed a targeted list of 600 pieces of legislation to be revoked, which did not include the Regulations.

This was welcome news for Commercial Agents who rely on the protections provided by the Regulations, which are derived from the EU Commercial Agents Directive (the Directive).

The Bill has since attained Royal Assent, and the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (the Act) came into effect on 31 December 2023.

While the Act does not revoke or amend the Regulations, it may impact future decisions of the English Courts concerning the entitlements of commercial agents. 

Get In Touch With Our Commercial Agency Team

Commercial Agency Update Implications of the Retained EU Law v2

What impact will the Act have?

The Act changes how retained EU law, such as the Regulations, will be treated going forwards:

  • Retained EU law no longer has supremacy over UK law. This means that the English courts are no longer bound to follow the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • General principles of EU law are no longer binding on the English courts. 

Contact Myerson Solicitors

What impact will the Act have

How will this specifically impact the Regulations?

From 31 December 2023, the English Courts will not be required to follow decisions of the EU when interpreting and applying the Regulations, although, in practice, they may still choose to do so.

The UK government will have additional powers to amend the Regulations on a fast-track basis if they wish.

In practice and over time, a disparity between how the English courts and the EU courts interpret and apply legislation which implements the Directive is likely to develop, although it is not yet clear how significant this disparity will be.

In time, we may see significant differences in how the English Courts interpret and apply the Regulations now that they are no longer bound to follow EU decisions.

However, the small number of cases heard and reported by the courts in this area means it will likely be a significant time before we see any differences in the English court’s application of commercial agency law.

Speak To Our Commercial Agency Solicitors

How will this specifically impact the Regulations

What is the likelihood the Regulations will be subject to further change?

It was anticipated that the Regulations would be impacted or even revoked by the Act, and the U-turn made by the government in respect of the Regulations was welcome news for agents.

Whilst the government will be able to enact changes to the Regulations with greater ease now that the Act is in place, what amendments, if any, will be made to the regulations in due course remains to be seen.

It is unlikely that any amendments to the UK legislation will be made in the short term since legislative changes are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, and given the volume of retained EU law to be considered, the Regulations are unlikely to be high on the list of priorities.

Myerson's Dispute Resolution team will continue to report on any significant changes in this area.

It will remain important for principals and agents to understand which law governs their agency agreement. If the agreement remains silent, applicable law and jurisdiction issues can arise, particularly where the principal and agent are not based in the same country.

Speak To Our Dispute Resolution Team

What is the likelihood the Regulations will be subject to further change

Contact Our Commercial Agency Experts

Our team of experts are ready to assist on all aspects of commercial agency law. We are always happy to have an initial no-obligation chat to help guide you in the right direction. Please do not hesitate to contact us on