Restrictive covenants

For a free, no obligation conversation with a solicitor contact us.

Typically, an employer’s most important assets will include its confidential information and its relationships with clients, suppliers and its workforce.

Accordingly, it’s vital that businesses protect those assets by using the legal safeguards available to them; from the right contractual provisions to taking enforcement action in the courts when necessary.

Restrictive covenants usually prohibit a range of competitive activity, including the solicitation or poaching of customers and employees or even the employee from taking up a job at a competitor. They must be drafted carefully, as current restrictive covenant law provides that in order to be enforceable, they must go no further than is necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests. Post termination restrictions which go too far are open to challenge in the courts, with the risk that they are deemed unenforceable.

At Waterfront our employment team has more than 20 years’ experience advising on all aspects of the protection of confidential information and the law of post-termination restrictions.

For employers

We can help you put in place appropriate contractual restrictions, carefully drafted to maximise enforceability in compliance with restrictive covenant law, so that the risk of a current or ex-employee damaging your business is limited.

If there is a breach or damage is caused then we can vigorously defend your interests whilst guiding you on the best strategy to limit any losses and to seek adequate recompense from the other party, whether by way of an agreed resolution or action in the civil courts.

If you are an employer or prospective employer concerned about a new hire or applicant’s existing post-termination obligations to their previous employer, we can assist by advising on the risk to your business should that individual come to work for you in breach of their restrictions, or where their duties might result in them breaching their obligations to their former employer.

For individuals

We advise individuals on the restrictive covenants proposed by their employer and can assist with the negotiation of provisions which are fair to both parties, whilst not unreasonably preventing someone from moving on to a new job in future.

Further, we are experienced in advising employees on their obligations and the risks involved when they are intending to set up in competition with their employer, or when they are planning to act in breach of their contractual restrictions.  Sometimes individuals are not sure whether or not their plans would put them in breach of contract and, again, we can provide valuable guidance here.

Taking legal advice at an early stage (and before taking steps which could expose you to substantial risk and cost) is essential in helping you identify your best course of action, both from a legal and commercial perspective.

Protecting your interests

Whether you are an employer or individual, we invite you can take advantage of our depth of experience in this area.  Before a dispute arises, our clients rely on us to plan the best strategy for their interests.  When matters become contentious and legal action is threatened or brought, we are determined to fight on each client’s behalf and achieve the best possible outcome for them.

Recent Work

  • Representing a software business in its successful application for injunctive relief in the High Court, together with the recovery of its legal costs.
  • Advising a technology business on changes to its restrictive covenants.
  • Defending a senior employee in High Court litigation relating to allegations of breach of confidentiality and their post-termination restrictions.
  • Advising an employee of a media company in relation to alleged breaches of confidentiality.
  • Advising a shareholder on their post-termination restrictions, confidentiality obligations and the related bad leaver provisions.
  • Advising a director on the enforceability of their post-termination restrictions in light of their plans to set up in competition with their employer.
For a free, no obligation conversation with a solicitor contact us.

020 7234 0200

020 7234 0200