Are you in the process of negotiating your contract of employment or looking to move on?

Solicitors Specialising in Restrictive Covenants and Confidentiality

It’s important that you fully understand any restrictive covenants or confidentiality obligations and the impact these may have in the future. Similarly, you may have changed employment and already be in breach or alleged breach of your previous contract.

Often called non-compete clauses, this is an area of law that’s complex and one which changes regularly. It can change with trends in employment, particularly if a high-concentration of specialists are located in a small geographical area. They can also arise to ensure that you don’t compete with your employer post-termination, or that you don’t compete with someone who has acquired your business. They are often used in the City of London in fields of finance or insurance and this is where our expertise really lies.

The consequences are often severe and can result in injunctions, claims for damages, reputational damage, and problems for your future or new employer. Our specialists co-ordinate to give you expert advice in relation to restrictive covenants. They can arise in employment contracts, partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, business acquisition agreements or management buy-out agreements. Moreover, they’re often entered into without much thought into what might happen if things go sour.

For your convenience, BTMK have a team of employment and litigation specialist solicitors in Essex, and we have offices across the region and in London. We have a wealth of experience acting for senior individuals in the insurance, banking, and finance sectors in this constantly evolving and challenging area of the law.

In many of these situations, our employment law solicitors have to work closely with our litigation and dispute resolution team, who are well placed and experienced in both applying for and opposing injunction applications in the High Court and the County Courts in relation to employment related situations.

If you require advice relating to a restrictive covenant or your confidentiality obligations, please contact our employment law team today by calling 03300 585 222 (24/7) or by sending an email to info@btmk.co.uk. We also offer a 24/7 live chat service via our website.

Why Instruct Our Employment Solicitors?

You need to be advised quickly and decisively not only about your options but how the other party is likely to react. This means you need advice from individuals who’ve encountered the situation previously and know the options that the other side have available and who can act strategically to ensure the risk of you being embroiled in lengthy and expensive litigation can be minimised.

Our highly experienced employment law solicitors will:

  • Analyse the terms and conditions in your contract to see if they’re any areas where you could be a risk.
  • Provide clear, practical guidance on restrictive covenants and whether they’re likely to be enforceable.
  • Fight your corner in court if you’re faced with having an injunction served against you.

FAQs

When can restrictive covenants be legally enforced?

Courts will enforce restrictive covenants in certain scenarios. However, the scope of the restrictions must not be wider than an employer’s needs to protect their business interests. These interests can include client relationships, confidential information, and the stability of a workforce.

Can my employer put me on garden leave and still enforce restrictive covenants?

Yes, your employer can use garden leave in combination with restrictive covenants, which means you have to stay away from work and not contact any clients or partners. During this time, your employer has the opportunity to recruit a new member of staff as your replacement.

What is wrongful dismissal?

Wrongful dismissal is dismissal in breach of an employment contract. If your employer has wrongfully dismissed you, you might be able to claim for all financial and other benefits you would have received if you’d been dismissed in compliance with your contract.

I have restrictive covenants in my contract - can I negotiate their removal?

This might be possible if you can persuade your employer to waive some or all of the restrictive covenants. Whether or not your employer agrees is likely to depend on what role you have within the business, how productive and successful you are and the relationships you have with clients and partners.

What's a springboard injunction?

A spring injunction can be used when an employee has used confidential information to gain an advantage in a competing business. It can be sought whether or not restrictive covenants are present in their contract as long as there’s a breach of duty related to confidential information.

In addition to having a springboard injunction issued to prevent further use of confidential information, an employee can also be required to account for the profits earned due to the advantage. Whether the restrictions have arisen under an employment contract or some other contract (such as a shareholders or partnership agreement, can have a big impact on their enforceability and the court’s approach to them. Early advice is essential.

What is a settlement agreement?

A settlement agreement is a legally binding agreement under which an employee waives their rights to bring an employment tribunal relating to matters covered within the document. Settlement agreements are often used in return for a payment made shortly after an employee’s termination of employment but can also be used in redundancy situations too.

What does protected conversation mean?

A protected conversation is a concept that allows your employer to have an “off the record” conversation with you to discuss any issues they might have with you. If your employer has had a protected conversation with you, you’re unable to refer to what was discussed if you later want to take a claim to an employment tribunal.

What is whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing is when an employee reveals information relating to their employer’s wrongdoing and is also known as “making a disclosure. Corruption, bullying, health and safety violations and discrimination are common problems highlighted by whistleblowers.

Can you help if we need to bring an application for an injunction?

Of course. BTMK has built its employment law reputation acting on both sides of these applications. We have represented employers (where a senior individual or a team has left) as well as a new employer where it has been alleged that the new employer has been instrumental in procuring a breach of contract. We can advise quickly and effectively in either scenario.

Adam Fleming

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Fiona McAnaw

Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment

Samantha Hyslop

Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment

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