Restrictive Covenant Advice

Restrictive covenants are an important tool for protecting business interests.

They are regularly and legitimately included in the employment terms of senior executives and senior employees.

During employment, a senior employee may build close relationships with clients, customers, suppliers, and other employees.

They may also acquire valuable, confidential information about their industry, the company's finances, and its marketing or business plans.

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Our Restrictive Covenants Service

Myerson's employment lawyers routinely advise senior executives on the enforceability of post-termination restrictions and employee confidentiality requirements.

Restrictive covenants can be unfairly onerous and in restraint of trade, and they should be challenged if they go too far. 

Our restrictive covenant solicitors can draft or review documentation on behalf of individual clients to ensure their position is understood and their interests are fairly represented.

This is often undertaken at the outset of a new appointment or before a contract of employment containing restrictive covenants is signed, but we also regularly advise employees, directors, and senior executives on restrictions during their employment, at the point of resignation and after their employment ends, when contentious issues may arise with their past employer.

Our employment solicitors work closely with our litigation team to support you if your employer seeks to enforce restrictive covenants against you.

We are determined and robust on your behalf, but we are also easy to deal with and clear in our advice.

We will fight your corner, but we understand that a common-sense approach is often required to find solutions that work for you in the context of your professional and personal circumstances.

Our employment lawyers are also able to advise in the context of employers seeking to enforce restrictive covenants, particularly in relation to exit strategies, pre-action correspondence, and defence to legal proceedings regarding employer recovery of damages and enforcement by way of injunctions.

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Our Restrictive Covenant Experience

Recent examples of our work with such covenants include:

  • Advising a senior executive joining a Plc on the enforceability and effect of post-termination restrictive covenants in their new service agreement
  • Advising a Chief Executive of an international business on the post-termination covenants in their contract of employment and securing, as part of a settlement agreement, a significant reduction in the scope of the covenants
  • Defending a former senior employee accused of misuse of confidential information and database rights issues
  • Advising on the risks of pursuing a team move to a competing business in the legal sector
  • Advising a senior employee and new employer in relation to allegations of breach of restrictive covenants and theft of confidential information
  • Assisting a senior executive understand the scope of the restrictive covenants they were being asked to accept, particularly in the context of business connections and knowledge they were bringing to their new employer.

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Our Approach to Costs

Our employment lawyers know that clarity on costs is vitally important to our clients.

As standard practice, we give our clients an estimate of the costs involved in undertaking any piece of work at the outset.

Your dedicated employment solicitor will then provide cost updates on a regular basis.

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Why Work with Our Employment Team?

Our specialist team of employment solicitors is described in the independent Legal 500 directory as "excellent" and are highly recommended by clients and legal professionals in the Legal 500.

Therefore, you can be assured that you will be dealing with some of the best employment solicitors in the country.

In particular, our employment lawyers offer:

  • City centre standards of employment law advice and service levels due to our policy of recruiting only the best specialist employment solicitors.
  • Clear and straightforward UK employment law advice that is user-friendly, pragmatic, and commercial.
  • Extensive experience in advising various employees, including senior executives, directors, and partners, with complex employment contracts and service agreements.
  • A credible team of employment law solicitors that are used to dealing with and providing legal representation against large employers and law firms on behalf of our clients.
  • A partner-led service and a genuinely accessible team of experienced employment law solicitors due to our size, structure, and unique culture.
  • Cost-effective support tailored to your unique employment issues and certainty on costs where you need it.

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Restrictive Covenants FAQs

What is a restrictive covenant?

A restrictive covenant is a clause contained in the contract that prohibits an employee from undertaking certain activities following the termination of their employment.

Who can restrictive covenants be enforced against?

Restrictive covenants can be enforced against employees, consultants, partners, and LLP members. 

Who enforces restrictive covenants?

Enforcement of employment restrictive covenants typically happens through legal action, in the civil courts and it's the responsibility of the employer to take such action if they believe an employee has breached their covenants.

What types of restrictive covenants are there?

There are several different types of restrictive covenants:

  • Non-compete restrictive covenants - prevent an employee from joining a rival employer for a defined period after termination or within a geographic period;
  • Non-solicitation restrictive covenants – restrict the contacting or soliciting of clients or customers of the former employer;
  • Non-dealing restrictive covenants – restrict an employee from acting for, providing services to or otherwise dealing with a client or customer of the former employer;
  • Non-poaching restrictive covenants – prevent an employee from soliciting a former colleague to leave their employment and are often also called non-solicitation of former colleagues or restricted people.

How long can a restrictive covenant last?

Any post-termination restrictive covenants must be for a limited time.

The length will vary from case to case, and the appropriate period depends on the business interests being protected.

Is a restrictive covenant enforceable?

To be enforceable, a restrictive covenant must be designed to protect a legitimate interest of the employer for which the restraint is reasonably necessary.

Restrictive covenants may also be unenforceable if drafted incorrectly or try to restrict an executive more than they should.

Meet Our Employment Solicitors

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our employment lawyers are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Joanne Evans

Joanne Evans

Jo is a Partner and Head of our Employment Team

Joanne Henderson

Joanne Henderson

Jo is a Partner in both our Employment and Compliance Teams

Charlotte Gilbert

Charlotte Gilbert

Charlotte is the Head of Myerson HR and a Partner in our Employment Team

Jack Latham

Jack Latham

Jack is a Senior Associate in our Employment Team

Vicki Fagan

Vicki Fagan

Vicki is an Associate in our Employment Team

Amy Salim

Amy Salim

Amy is a Solicitor in our Employment Team

Anjali Brown

Anjali Brown

Anjali is a Solicitor in our Employment Team

Kurt Reilly

Kurt Reilly

Kurt is a Solicitor in our Employment Team

Oliver Hinds

Oliver Hinds

Oliver is a Trainee Solicitor in the Employment Team

Meghan O'Rourke

Meghan O'Rourke

Meghan is a Senior Legal PA in our Employment Team

Abbie Lyon

Abbie Lyon

Abbie is a Legal PA in our Employment Team

Contact Myerson Solicitors

If you have any more questions or would like more information, you can contact our Family Law Solicitors on:

0161 941 4000