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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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My sales colleague has received a threatening letter from his

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My sales colleague has received a threatening letter from his ex-employer saying they are aware that he has contacted one or more of their clients (unspecified) and is barred from doing so for 18 months. This seems highly disproportionate (they are a large company) and my companies services could only be very loosely regarded as competitive. Should we ignore it or call their bluff by asking for the names of the clients concerned and why they think there is a competitive issue? Also, surely 18 months is unenforceable? (He has already worked for us for 6 months.)

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you.

Yes I would agree that 18 months as a restriction is probably unenforceable, but it would depend on other factors. For example how senior was he in the previous company? Did he have access to any commercially sensitive information? Was he paid a higher salary in lieu of such restrictions?

Kind regards

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He was a senior salesperson, but not a manager or director. I doubt that he had access to anything more commercially sensitive than access to client lists etc., which I am assured he did not 'acquire'. There was no explicit extra salary or other amount paid for the restriction. His view, which on balance I think is fair, is that the two companies are not competitive - except that both are 'consulting' companies. However the type of work and expertise is very different and we have never been in a competitive situation with that company (ever).


Thank you.

I cannot make any certain assumptions without seeing the restrictive covenant, but a restrictive covenant for 18 months in this circumstance seems commercially unnecessary.

Courts will only enforce such clauses if they have a commercial need otherwise they represent a restraint on trade and are anti competitive and un enforceable even if they have been signed.

From what you have told me this sounds like sabre rattling to me.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Alex, I agree - and also obviously understand your caveat.

No problem.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist any further.

Kind regards

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