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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11135
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am in Scotland I case law differs.My vet is leaving the practice

Resolved Question:

I am in Scotland I case law differs.My vet is leaving the practice am registered with.He is not allowed to tell me re his contract where is is moving too and even if I find out is not allowed to treat my dog for I believe a year. He has at no time attempted to poach me. I want to follow him as my dog as an ongoing medical issue which only he has dealt with. Do I not have any rights to go to who I chose? He has not asked me to follow him. I do not want to do anything which opens him up to legal action but find it hard to believe this is enforceable. My idea would be to stay registered with practice for emergency reasons but to stay in communication with him re ongoing issue as from what I understand I can be registered with more than one practice. Can you advise please. Many thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

It depends on the exact wording of the restrictive covenant clauses in his contract. Typically he would be restricted from working in a set area for a period of time and again for a set period he can't approach customers or employees of the business he is leaving. From what you say there is also a clause that he can't tell you which practice he is moving to. I doubt there is a specific clause to that effect but if he does tell you that could be construed as approaching you.

Whether these clauses are enforceable depend on whether they are reasonable and to assess that a court would have to look at the nature and length of the restrictions and the type and amount of businesses concerned.

It would be very unusual to have a restriction on taking on customers who have actually sought out the person concerned, especially a professional such as a vet, doctor or lawyer where there are often issues of delectus personae as in your own case.

There will be a register of vet practitioners held with their professional association. Wait until the vet moves, contact the association and they will tell you where he is practising.

Happy to discuss further but the answer to your question is that restrictive covenants are perfectly legal provided that they are reasonably drafted. As neither you nor I have seen the contract we can't comment on that.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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