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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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Good Afternoon, I work for a UK firm which has business operations

Resolved Question:

Good Afternoon,
I work for a UK firm which has business operations overseas. I work as a regional manager for work overseas in one of the regions. I have recently resigned (gave my 90 days notice) and will leave by next mid month.
I am joining another firm which does similar work but not strong in the area i cover. I am concerned about the restrictive covenants i have on my current contract. However i think it is loosely written for example not stating Restricted Area in the contract, therefore not defining the geographical area of restriction. Also it imposes 12months restriction on dealing with Relevant Customers and Critical Person and relevant goods & services.
My take is that the existing covenants i have can be considered Void.
Any thoughts
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 2 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. If you breach the covenants is the employer likely to suffer a financial loss?

Customer:

Hello Jenny.

Customer:

It will be difficult to say, it probably depends on the what i do or don't do.

Attachment: 2014-11-21_174532_restrictive_convenant_full.pdf

Full Size Image

Customer:

i have attached an extract of the contract for your information

taratill :

Ok thanks, ***** ***** legal principle is that restrictive covenants are void as they are in restraint of trade, the exception to that will be if the clauses are not more widely drafted than necessary to protect a legitimate business interest. If there is no georaphical restriction it is likely to be unenforceable unless what you do is unique and has a global market, such as a product which does not sell in high volume due to its uniqueness but could be sold anywhere in the world. This is unlikely to be the case. In addition a clause lasting 12 months is likely to be deemed to be unenforceable. The upshot to this is that you are probably quite safe to breach the restrictions.

taratill :

The reality is that the employer will not try to sue you in any event unless your activities will cost them at least tens of thousands of pounds as the cost of bringing a claim to enforce such covenants is restrictive.

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask. if I have answered your quesiotn I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my asnwer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer:

Hi Jenny,

Customer:

thank you for the comments, it is very useful. What i sell is consultancy services for the designs of roads, bridges, railway lines etc. which is not a unique business and a lot of UK international firms are involved with in the region.

Customer:

i am a professional civil engineering consultant, which is not unique either.

Customer:

since it is a UK firm and no mention of geographical restriction is mention it should be void.

Customer:

Is this correct?

taratill :

I cannot guarantee that it would be deemed to be void as it will depend on the evidence your employer might bring to show that the clauses are necessary to protect their interest. The key point is that The fact that the employer is UK based is irrelevant to whether the geographical clause is likely to be enforceable. What is relevant is that presumably you are based in one region, a clause that prevents you from working for competitors in that region is more likely to be enforceable but a clause that stops you from working in any region is not likely to as presumably if you went to work eleswhere globally i.e. not in your current market you would not put your employer' s business at risk. I therefore think you are ok.

Customer:

thanks, ***** ***** am slightly confused. I will likely work in the region i was before as part of my new role (Eastern Africa) but also in other regions. The company i will be joining is interested in the region i am working in plus elsewhere in Africa and middle east . Does this change your view?

taratill :

no because the court cannot change the clause to suit your employer. If it is deemed to be too wide because it does not restrict you geographically it doesn't matter where you work the entire clause is unenforceable.

Customer:

Great. You have answered my questions, i am more relaxed now. I will certainly recommend and use your service again as i have another question unrelated to this.

Customer:

Thank you

taratill :

No problem, please take the time to rate my answer and do come back to me in the future if you need to.

Customer:

Ok will do.

Customer:

Have a good weekend.

Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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