Define: Per Procurationem

Per Procurationem
Per Procurationem
What is the dictionary definition of Per Procurationem?
Dictionary Definition of Per Procurationem

Per procurationem is a Latin phrase that translates to “by proxy.” It is commonly abbreviated as per pro, p. proc., p. pro., or p.p. This term is used to signify that an individual is acting on behalf of another person, typically with their consent. For instance, if someone signs a document as “John Smith per procurationem Jane Doe,” it indicates that John Smith is signing the document on behalf of Jane Doe, with her permission.

Full Definition Of Per Procurationem

The term “Per Procurationem” often arises in the legal and business world, particularly in contexts involving representation and delegation of authority. Derived from Latin, the phrase translates to “by the agency of” and is commonly abbreviated as “p.p.” It signifies an action performed on behalf of another person, typically within the realm of contractual obligations and legal documents. This overview explores the concept of Per Procurationem, its historical context, legal definition, authority, implications, practical applications, and relevant case law, providing a comprehensive understanding of its role and significance.

Historical Background

Per Procurationem has deep roots in Roman law, where agents acted on behalf of principals in various transactions. This practice laid the foundation for modern agency law, evolving through centuries of legal thought and commercial practice. In medieval Europe, the burgeoning mercantile class necessitated a more formalized representation system, which saw the codification of such principles in various legal systems. The development of agency law in England during the 19th and 20th centuries further refined the application of Per Procurationem, integrating it into contemporary legal frameworks.

Legal Definition and Scope

Per Procurationem is a formal expression used to denote actions taken by an individual (the agent) on behalf of another person (the principal). Legally, it represents the authority granted by the principal to the agent to act in specified capacities. This delegation of authority is crucial in various legal and commercial settings where principals cannot attend to every matter personally.

Key Elements:

  • Principal: The person or entity granting authority.
  • Agent: The person or entity receiving authority to act on behalf of the principal.
  • Scope of Authority: The specific actions or decisions the agent is empowered to undertake.

Authority and Powers under Per Procurationem

The authority granted under Per Procurationem can vary significantly based on the nature of the agreement between the principal and the agent. It may be:

  • General Authority: Enabling the agent to perform a wide range of actions on behalf of the principal.
  • Special Authority: Limited to specific tasks or transactions, such as signing documents or making specific decisions.

Legal Implications and Responsibilities

The use of Per Procurationem carries several legal implications:

  • Binding Nature: Actions performed by the agent within the scope of their authority bind the principal legally, similar to if the principal had performed them personally.
  • Fiduciary Duty: The agent is obliged to act in the best interest of the principal, maintaining loyalty, confidentiality, and due diligence.
  • Liability: Principals are generally liable for the acts of their agents conducted within the authority granted. However, agents may be liable for acts outside their authority or for breaches of fiduciary duty.

Distinction from Other Forms of Representation

Per Procurationem is often compared with other forms of representation, such as:

  • Power of Attorney: A legal document granting one person authority to act on another’s behalf in legal or financial matters. It is broader and more formalized than Per Procurationem.
  • Agency: A broader legal concept encompassing all forms of representation, of which Per Procurationem is a subset.
  • Proxy: Specifically used in voting on behalf of another, typically in corporate settings.

Case Law and Judicial Interpretations

Several landmark cases have shaped the understanding and application of Per Procurationem in British law:

  • Turquand’s Case (1856): Established the “Indoor Management Rule,” protecting third parties dealing with agents acting under apparent authority.
  • Freeman & Lockyer v Buckhurst Park Properties (Mangal) Ltd (1964): Clarified the principles of apparent authority, emphasizing the importance of representation and reliance by third parties.
  • Hely-Hutchinson v Brayhead Ltd (1968): Distinguished between actual and apparent authority, underscoring the significance of express and implied agreements.

These cases illustrate the judicial approach to issues of authority and representation, emphasizing the protection of third parties and the importance of clear, consistent communication of authority.

Practical Applications

In practice, Per Procurationem is commonly used in:

  • Commercial Transactions: Signing contracts, agreements, and other documents.
  • Corporate Governance: Representation in meetings, negotiations, and decisions.
  • Financial Services: Managing accounts, investments, and financial decisions.

Example Scenario:

A company’s managing director might authorize a subordinate manager to sign contracts on their behalf using “p.p.” This ensures continuity and efficiency in business operations, especially when the principal is unavailable.

Challenges and Controversies

Despite its utility, Per Procurationem can present challenges:

  • Ambiguity in Authority: Disputes may arise regarding the extent and limits of the agent’s authority.
  • Misuse of Authority: Instances where agents exceed their authority, leading to potential legal and financial repercussions.
  • Third-Party Rights: Ensuring third parties understand the nature and scope of the agent’s authority to avoid disputes.


Per Procurationem remains vital in legal and business practices, facilitating efficient delegation and representation. Understanding its legal framework, implications, and practical applications is crucial for principals, agents, and third parties to navigate its complexities effectively. As legal and commercial landscapes evolve, the principles governing Per Procurationem will continue to adapt, underscoring the importance of clarity, communication, and fiduciary responsibility in all forms of representation.

Per Procurationem FAQ'S

“Per Procurationem” is a Latin phrase commonly abbreviated as “PP” and is used to indicate that someone is signing a document on behalf of another person or entity. It is often used in situations where a representative or agent is authorised to act on behalf of someone else.

You should use “Per Procurationem” in a document when you are signing on behalf of someone else with their authorization. This is commonly seen in business or legal transactions where a representative is acting on behalf of a company or an individual who is unable to sign the document themselves.

Yes, “Per Procurationem” is legally binding as long as the representative has the proper authority to act on behalf of the person or entity they are representing. It is important to ensure that the representative has been duly authorised to avoid any potential legal issues.

To indicate “Per Procurationem” in a signature, you can simply write “PP” followed by your own signature. This signifies that you are signing on behalf of someone else. It is also common to include the name of the person or entity you are representing below your signature.

No, no one can sign “Per Procurationem” on behalf of another person. The representative must have the proper authority or authorization to act on behalf of the person or entity they represent. This authority can be granted through a power of attorney or other legal documents.

“Per Procurationem” is a phrase used to indicate that someone is signing on behalf of another person, while a “Power of Attorney” is a legal document that grants someone the authority to act on behalf of another person in various matters. “Per Procurationem” is often used in situations where a power of attorney is not required or available.

Yes, “Per Procurationem” can be used in personal matters as well. For example, if you are unable to sign a document due to illness or absence, you can authorize someone to sign on your behalf using “Per Procurationem.” However, it is important to ensure that the representative has the proper authority to act on your behalf.

Yes, there may be limitations to using “Per Procurationem” depending on the specific circumstances and the laws of your jurisdiction. For example, certain legal documents may require specific formalities or the use of a power of attorney instead. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional to determine the appropriate course of action.

Yes, “Per Procurationem” can be used internationally, as it is a widely recognised term. However, it is important to consider the specific legal requirements and cultural norms of the country where the document is being signed. It may be necessary to consult with local legal experts to ensure compliance with local laws and practices.

If you suspect misuse of “Per Procurationem,” such as someone signing on behalf of another person without proper authorization, you should consult with a legal professional. They can guide you on the appropriate steps to take, which may include challenging the validity of the document or seeking legal remedies.

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This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 11th June 2024.

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