Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2016] All ER (D) 207 (Mar)
Neutral Citation: [2016] EWHC 648 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

His Honour Judge McKenna sitting as a Judge of the High Court

Representation Daniel Stilitz QC and Zac Sammour (instructed by T Gleeson Solicitor, Company Secretary and Group Legal Counsel) for Bartholomews.
  Michael Duggan QC (instructed by Birketts LLP) for the respondent.
Judgment Dates: 23 March 2016


Restraint of trade by agreement - Employer and employee - Construction of covenant - Respondent resigning from employment with applicant company - On expiry of notice period, respondent intending to take up employment with another company - Applicant applying for interim injunction against respondent, seeking to enforce terms of restrictive covenant in respondent's contract of employment - Whether applicant demonstrating legitimate business interests requiring protection and covenant being no wider than reasonably necessary for protection of interests.

The Case

Restraint of trade by agreement Employer and employee. The Queen's Bench Division, in refusing an application for an interim injunction against the respondent, a former employee, in which it sought to enforce the terms of a restrictive covenant contained in the respondent's contract of employment, held that the relevant clause was in restraint of trade and unenforceable. The clause also provided that the respondent would continue to be paid in full by his former employer for the duration of the covenant, provided that he complied with the restriction. The covenant was plainly far wider than was reasonably necessary for the protection of the applicant's business interests. It was contrary to public policy in effect to permit an employee to purchase a restraint.

Practice Areas

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