Restrictive Covenants

When an employment relationship breaks down one of the most important issues for both parties is what will happen when the employee leaves the company. Will they work for a competitor, and, if so, will they use information they have gleaned while in their current employment?

Traditionally restrictive covenants were difficult to enforce. However, over recent years, the courts have been keener to enforce these, and have made orders preventing employees who were planning to leave from taking with them business and colleagues.

Whether or not the court will take action in a particular case will depend on whether the restrictive covenants or terms contained in the employment contracts are enforceable.

Because the team at Hamlins regularly draft these clauses and litigates over them, both for employers and senior employees, we are well placed to advise on whether or not employees are free to compete or breach restrictive covenants.

We can also help employers to take practical preventative action such as obtaining a court order to seize information contained on the employee’s electronic equipment, retrieve deleted files and obtain injunctions to prevent employees or teams seeking to jump to a competitor.

For employees, we can advise on legal and practical means to avoid restrictive covenants so that you can pursue your chosen career path.

In what can be emotive situations, we are often able to find solutions that avoid expensive court action and ensure that reputational issues are properly managed.