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RJM Law
RJM Law, Laywer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3482
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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Let me give a short background information about the

Customer Question

Hi, let me give a short background information about the situation I am currently in as I'm seeking some legal advice:
I have my own startup and additionally, I wanted to do some freelance work. Hence, found an interesting opportunity, signed a freelance contract with a Swedish company and have only later realized that there were some interesting clauses concerning "non-compete" / "conflict of interest" and so on in it that now led me into a tricky situation with my other business. Long story short, I received a claim by that Swedish company for a breach of contract with a charge of €5.000 and the threat that they might further investigate and get back to me with further charges.
Hence, I need a lawyer to help me craft a letter contesting enforceability of the „non-compete clause as well as advise on my response or a follow-up letter that we write to them that offers some sort of (settlement) agreement under which they agree to not to bring up any claims/demands against me in the future because their wording and framing is very vague and broad.
I'm happy to provide further information or material upfront (Contract, email conversations, etc.) but wanted to ask if this is generally something you would be able to help me with?
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  RJM Law replied 15 days ago.

Welcome and thank you for choosing our service, I will be the expert assisting you with this matter today.   I appreciate this matter is important to you and I shall try to resolve it as precisely and quickly as possible for you today.

Please note; there may be delays between messages as the experts on this website all work on a third party basis and are not online full time however, I shall endeavour to respond to your question as soon as possible.  I look forward to assisting you in this matter.

Thank you.

Expert:  RJM Law replied 15 days ago.

Thank you.  This website is to provide general guidance, as we do not undertake legal work, however I can point you in the right direction.  Firstly, if they were aware of your business in the first instance prior to taking you on, then they may fail in their claim.  There are a few defences, firstly, this is called a restrictive covenant.

Whilst I cannot comment on the strength of your case I can explain how this works so that you can make an informed decision.  A restrictive covenant is basically a non-compete clause in a contract for when you leave.  However, the courts have been hesitant in allowing employers to win these types of cases even when such a clause exists.  Basically if you work for a company that sells guitars (just an example) and you start your own business doing the same.  The courts may take the opinion that there is a large enough market share that you are not really impending on their prospective clients and therefore the restrictive covenant is not enforceable as you will not directly affect their business (assuming you are not poaching client's).  Guitars are a very general thing so there is a very large market share.  However, if you employer sold a very specific type of guitar, let say one that will help teach blind children guitar in school, then this would be a very niche product, so if you leave and do the same and the is a covenant in place, then this could potentially be enforceable as there is a small market share and you are would likely impede on their potential customers, the covenant could be enforced leaving you to lose the claim. This is a very black and white example, and as you can imagine there will be more specificity to your issue.   With that being the case, I would take the information you have to an employment solicitor near you and present all the information you have to see if they feel it either worth defending or whether you are likely to have the restriction imposed upon you in court.

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area.  This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful.  You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows;

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area.  This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful.  You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ (England)

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/ (Scotland)

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Find-a-Solicitor/Solicitor-Firm-Search/ (Ireland)

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Should you require any further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to post a further questions for additional assistance.

Kindest Regards.