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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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We have an ex employee, working in the same industry, who is

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we have an ex employee, working in the same industry, who is approaching our customers, despite giving us written assurances that she would not do so. we have already sent a cease and desist letter which she has ignored. what is our next course of action, if we have any?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you have specific written restrictive covenants in place?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
When the ex employee handed in her letter of resignation, she stated in writing that she would not approach our customers and would not engage in any business activity that directly competes with us
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have to nip out for 20 minutes
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
You have to be careful with such promises because to rely on such restrictions you need a very well rafted restrictive covenant which is reasonably drafted and goes on to protect only what you could reasonably expect it to in the circumstances. You may find that general and blanket clauses restricting any non-competitive activities are legally unenforceable because they are seen as a restraint of trade. Whilst it is indeed possible to have restrictions preventing someone from soliciting your clients or working I competition, they need to be well defined, such as for a specific period of time (usually 6-12 months), covering a specific geographical area or defining the specific clients which may be caught within it (e.g. those with which the person had dealt with for a period of time before leaving). So my concern is that a clause like your one could be found legally unenforceable for being too general and wide. Saying that, there is nothing stopping you from taking the matter further and in your case the next step would be to make an application to the court for an injunction. This is a court order requiring the individual to either do or stop doing something and in this case it could be an order stopping them from contacting certain companies or individuals. That would be the next step in your case. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on restrictive covenants and what is considered reasonable which you can use for future reference, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
thanks for that advice - the letter specifically states that "1 agree not to contact any of VIP (us) clients/customers that i have met within my employment with VIP for the next 12 months" and "i will also agree not to engage in any business activity that directly competes/could affect or potentially damage VIP business activity" and "1 agree not to bad mouth or use derogatory language against VIP, any employees or clients of VIP".from this i would guess we have a case for an injunction? would you know the approximate cost? how would we go about it?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Yes it does give you potential grounds for seeking an injunction. I would suggest you use a solicitor for this as there are certain technicalities which must be satisfied. I would say approximate costs are £500 if uncontested or £1000 if contested by the other party. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
many thanks for your advice - i have rated you above
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Thank you and apologies but the rating dos not appear to have come through - could you please try again or just type your selection on here (e.g. 3,4,5 stars). Thanks again
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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