When considering who to appoint as a process agent, be sure to look beyond the brass plate to ensure the team has a physical presence, robust processes and controls.

The appointment of a Process Agent is necessary for organisations participating in corporate debt or ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) transactions, for jurisdictions where the organisation doesn’t have a formal presence. It’s not uncommon to view the appointment of a Process Agent as a simple tick-box exercise, necessary for an address to receive legal documents in the jurisdiction in which you’re transacting. But when it comes to selecting the right process agent, it’s worth factoring the following points into your decision making.

1. Truly local knowledge

Bank-backed process agent providers typically hub their activities in key locations, and have a representative office in other jurisdictions. Often, these offices don’t fully support and accept service of process as the process agent. Ideally you want to work with process agent service providers that have a large global footprint, who understand ISDA transactions and Corporate Debt (including Corporate Bonds and Syndicated Loans) transactions and have thorough knowledge of the legalities of the jurisdiction in which documents are being served.

2. Responsibility and efficiency

When documents are served to your process agents’ office by courier or mail, you want to be confident that they will be dealt with swiftly by the designated person, ideally within a 24 hour timeframe. Sometimes a transaction depends on it. It’s all too common for documents to be left unclaimed for an extended period or added to the to-do list of a process agent who is involved in a myriad of other activities. A process agent that fails to deliver efficient service can leave you or the counterparty facing legal consequences and potential liability.

3. Reasonable cost

The role of a process agent is generally low-cost, but depending on the jurisdiction and frequency with which documents are being sent, fees can quickly add up. It’s important to understand what counts as one or multiple transactions.

4. Independence

All parties involved in a transaction need to be confident that the process agent will demonstrate the appropriate level of discretion and confidentiality, handling the service in a timely and professional manner. TMF Group is completely independent, and our global teams can work confidently with all parties without creating any conflicts.