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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Dear Sirs, I am in receipt of a letter from my previous

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Dear Sirs, I am in receipt of a letter from my previous employer, Thomson Ecology Ltd, stating that unless I provide evidence that my new employment is not in competition with them, they will take legal action. Thomson Ecology have an annual turnover of £3-4 million and market themselves as the largest independent ecological consultancy in the UK. I am in the process of setting up an office, working from home and working on my own, for a small consultancy based in Exeter. Thomson's are based in Guildford and I live in Guildford. I have taken a considerable salary reduction so that I can work for a smaller organisation and in a much less pressured role. Although my role is still described as Principal Ecologist, my duties will be undertaking small scale projects for small firms and individuals and my turnover in the first year is expected to be no more than £40,000; just enough to cover my salary and start-up materials with a little left over as profit. There is no intention to operate on the same level as Thomson's; in fact the aim is to work from home for the first year and only recruit one or two field surveyors to help me with surveys. The letter I have received from Thomson's, also copied to my new employer, is threatening and very upsetting. They have also stated that they have evidence that I deceived them about my future plans. They are also withholding my P45. I have written a letter which explains how we will not be in competition with Thomson's and my new employer is going to look at it on Monday. I would be very grateful for some advice on how to progress this matter and whether Thomson's would have any grounds to apply for a court order against me. Kind regards, XXXXX XXXXX 07443 652988


Did your previous employment contract have any restrictive covenants that you could not compete with your employer? If so, please copy these provisions here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. For 6 months after leaving, I am not allowed to work for a business which is, or intends to be, in competition with Thomson's.

Thank you.

Your ex employer may only enforce the restriction if it is reasonable and protects their legitimate business interests e.g. You use their confidential information or secrets in your new position or you poach their employees or poach their customers

Otherwise they will find it very difficult to enforce the covenant as courts do not like such provisions restraining people to work or trade. You cannot be stopped from competing with them simply because they wish so, they need to prove that they are protecting their legitimate business interests and acting reasonably.

Your ex employer would also need to show that 6 months is a reasonable time to stop you from competing with them, and if they are unable to justify this restriction, the courts will not enforce it against you.

Hope this helps

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