attorney-in-fact

(law) A person authorized to transact business generally or to perform a designated task of a nonlegal nature on behalf of another individual or legal entity. An attorney-in-fact is a type of agent. In many countries, this authority must be conferred by a written power of attorney. If a company buys goods from a foreign firm, for example, and agrees to place sufficient funds for the purchase in an escrow account, the buyer may authorize an attorney-in-fact in that foreign country to disburse the escrow funds on receiving verification from the buyer that the goods are satisfactory. A business enterprise may also authorize an attorney-in-fact to testify to facts on the company’s behalf in arbitration or legal proceedings held in a foreign country. See agent; agency; power of attorney.

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