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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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There, I am a self employed chiropractor who works

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Hello there,
I am a self employed chiropractor who works as a associate/consultant to a clinic ran by another company. I am set up as a Ltd company. I have a working contract with the company who owns the clinic that stipulates that I cannot work or setup another clinic within a 15 mile radius of the clinic I currently work at. I just wanted to get some advice about leaving this current contract. I would like to set up my own clinic, I have found some premises that is 6.2 miles away from my current clinic. How binding is a self employed contract? And how was would it be to get out the current agreement? The contract states that of I break this claus then they want 40% of any fees earned within 12 months of termination of the current contract.
Many thanks,
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Will you be taking away with you clients that you currently work with through this company?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben,

No I will not be soliciting any clients from the current company.

Where is the current clinic, in a sense would a 15 mile radius for example exclude you from the whole city or is it more rural?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It is in Bracknell and I will be excluded from most of Berkshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.

Post-termination restrictive covenants are a rather common occurrence in employment relationships, including self employed ones. An employer would want to protect their business from a departing employee's knowledge, business connections, influence over remaining staff, etc. However, a covenant that restricts an employee's post-termination activities will be automatically unenforceable for being in restraint of trade, unless the employer can show that it was there to protect a legitimate business interest and did so in a reasonable way. Legitimate business interests (LBIs) are commonly accepted to include:Goodwill (including supplier and customer connections)Trade secrets and confidential informationStability of the workforce An employer cannot apply a restrictive covenant just to stop someone competing with their business, but it can seek to stop that person using or damaging their LBIs by using a reasonably drafted covenant. Non-competition covenants, such as the one in your case, prevent an employee from working with a competing business or setting up to work in competition with their ex-employer. Such general restrictions are seen as a restraint of trade and will be difficult to enforce. They will only be seen as reasonable if in the process of working in competition, the employee uses trade secrets or sensitive confidential information belonging to their ex-employer, or their influence over clients is so great that such a restriction is necessary. The length of the restriction and its geographical coverage will also be relevant. The radius here does appear unreasonably wide as it does not exclude you just from nearby operations to the clinic but from nearly 3 counties. This is likely to be seen as too wide and a more reasonable clause would have perhaps been a couple of miles from the clinic, or a specific area in a city where they operate their business. Whilst restrictive covenants are mainly used as a scare tactic by employers, if an employee has acted in breach of a covenant and the employer is intent on pursuing the matter further they can do so. The following are potential outcomes if the employer takes legal action:Obtain an interim injunction preventing the employee from doing certain things that would make them in breach of the restrictive covenantSeek compensation for damages that have directly resulted from the breach of the covenants As you can see there are no hard and fast rules on restrictive covenants. Whether a specific restriction is enforceable will always depend on the individual circumstances, the interest being protected and whether it has been reasonably drafted. The above principles are what the courts will consider when deciding whether a restriction is going to be legally enforceable. It should give you a good idea of what to look for in your situation and decide what the chances of this being pursued further are. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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