Employment Law

Restraint of Trade

Restraint of Trade

Many contracts of employment seek to impose restrictions upon the conduct of employees once the employment contract has been terminated. In determining whether to enforce clauses of this nature, the courts will weigh the public interest that there be a minimum restriction upon each citizen’s right to work against the employers entitlement to reasonable protection of their legitimate business interests.

The Courts will not generally enforce a blanket ban on competition that is not reasonable. The Court will be more sympathetic to enforcing clauses designed to prevent an employee exploiting confidential information obtained during employment or personal acquaintance with customers or “trade secrets”. The restraint of trade clause should not exceed what is necessary to achieve this protection.

Restraint of trade clauses typically seek to restrain employees from:

  1. Trading in a competing business for a specific period of time within a specified geographical territory.
  2. Undertaking specific activities – for example, soliciting or dealing with existing customers of the employer.

The Courts will judge each case on its specific facts, what is reasonable protection for a solicitor’s practice may be excessive for a sandwich shop.

An action to enforce a restraint of trade clause is brought through the civil courts seeking a remedy of an injunction and damages (compensation for loss). Cases of this kind are inherently risky because the outcomes are often so “fact specific”. This is a difficult and fast changing area of law and prompt and expert advice is necessary.

We are able to offer specialist advice

Chris Kingham

Solicitor
CONTACT

Quintin Barry

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public
CONTACT
Contact Us
Question
Call Back
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

Eastbourne Office

11 Hyde Gardens
Eastbourne
East Sussex 
BN21 4PP
Tel: 01323 720142
DX: 6902 Eastbourne

Lewes Office

Suite 4, Sackville House
Brooks Close
Lewes
BN7 2FZ
Tel: 01273 480234
DX: 3103 Lewes 1

Peacehaven Office

10a Horsham Avenue
Peacehaven
East Sussex
BN10 8LL

 Tel: 01273 582680