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Enforcing Restrictive Covenants


A restrictive covenant can be put in a contract of employment to protect your organisation should an employee leave. However,  how enforceable restrictive covenants are and whether they are upheld will depend on whether, the covenant protect something specific – a covenant cannot just be put in place to stop an employee from doing any work. Specific and well-drafted covenants which have a reasonable scope and duration are still able to be used and enforced.

In the case of Egon Zehnder Ltd v Tillman [2017], a senior employee in an executive search and selection company had a restrictive covenant in her contract of employment which stopped her from working for a competitor for six months after leaving the company. Plus, there was a covenant preventing her from enticing employees of the company to leave with her. After she resigned to go and work for a competitor, her company was successful in seeking an injunction to stop her from starting work with the competitor for the full six months.

While it was not possible to stop her from ever joining to a competitor, the six month gap meant that her knowledge about work the company was doing was less recent, and that her relationship with customers would have lapsed for six months – giving valuable protection for the company. The period of six months was found to be reasonable in these specific circumstances.


If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Tahamtani on 0113 336 3314 or via email sarah.tahamtani@clarionsolicitors.com

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