How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask UKSolicitorJA Your Own Question
UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
62162956
Type Your Law Question Here...
UKSolicitorJA is online now

Hello, I am a Doctor of Dental Medicine and I am kindly asking

Resolved Question:

Hello, I am a Doctor of Dental Medicine and I am kindly asking for a legal advice. I have been working as a dentist for a company for the last more than 3 years. I have been recently asked to join a small independent local practice which is within a radius of 1 mile from my current practice. And here comes the issue. In my current contract I've got a clause that says RESTRICTIONS AFTER TERMINATION, along with the restriction not to encourage patients to join my new practice and to be advertising in any medium which is understandable I have a restriction for a period of 12 months following the termination date saying that I shall not without the prior consent of the current company to work in a radius of 1 mile.
However, despite all the mentioned restrictions there is NOT anything mentioned about what legal actions might be taken if I am in breach of the restrictions. Nothing I have signed for. It only says ''I shall not work within a mile..''
My question is shell I let my current company know that I will be working within a mile, but in that case they will not let me go, or can I leave anyway and what legal actions can they take if nothing is stated in my existing contract.
Thank you so very much for the advice! Best regards.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Unless they are protecting a legitimate business interest by restricting you to work within a mile of their practice for 12 months, I would say that the restriction is very likely unenforceable and they cannot hold you to it.

The only thing they could do is to take you to court for breach of contract but courts very rarely uphold such restraints of trade and covenants denying people a chance to earn a living, so the restriction may be found to be unreasonable and unenforceable. 12 months is too long a time to restrict you from working and I do not see any court upholding this against you unless there is a very good reason that your current employer can provide as to why you should not work within a mile radious for an entire year.

Hope this helps
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is how the clause begins:


For the purpose of protecting the goodwill and business interests of the Company and in particular in relation to the Dental Centre, on the termination of this Agreement (for whatever reason), the Assosiate shall not without the prior consent of the Company, whether alone or jointly or in partnership or association with another person or organisation (including as an associate of another dentist) or for or on behalf of another person or organisation whether as pricipal, agent, parner, GDS/PDS perfomer, consultan, locum, employee or otherwise, for a period of 12 months following the date of termination of the Agreement:


- carry on practice as a GDP at premises situate within a radius of 1 mile from the Dental Centre


================


I only says that I SHALL NOT.... but does not say that any legal actions or charges might be put forward which I have agreed in writing to.


Thank you.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

Your employer could apply for an interlocutory injunction against you to stop you working with the new employer if damages cannot be quantified or you do not have the means to pay the damages

or they may apply for damages against you if they are able to show that they have incurred a loss as a result of your breach of contract.

At the end of the day, it would all depend on the court upholding the restrictive covenants or not but is very rarely for courts to enforce 12 months restrictions or more. However, the 1 mile radius restriction may be reasonable.

I would suggest that you try and see if your employer is willing to waive the restriction first, otherwise it is your commercial decision given the advice above.

Hope this helps
UKSolicitorJA and other Law Specialists are ready to help you