0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

be careful with your covenants

17 February 2012

Non solicitation clauses are commonplace in senior employees’ employment contracts. But how can an employer show that an employee has ‘solicited’ its clients? In the case of Towry EJ Limited v Barry Bennett and others, the employer was not able to show that their former clients had moved to a former employee’s current business due to any request, persuasion or encouragement by that former employee. Solicitation could not be inferred from the fact that a “tidal wave” of clients had moved to the former employee’s business, even though that might well look suspicious.

With the burden of proof lying squarely with the employer in trying to enforce restrictive covenants, careful consideration needs to be given to their drafting at the outset. A non-dealing clause may have proved more effective in this case with the employee being placed on garden leave to prevent them from having contact with key clients during their notice period.

related opinions

Employer obliged to pay settlement despite employees confidentiality breach

In Duchy Farm Kennels Ltd v Steels the employer was found not to have been relieved of its obligation to pay a settlement sum, despite the former employee having breached the confidentiality clause contained in the settlement agreement.

View blog

Furlough scheme extended to October

The Chancellor announced on Tuesday 12th May 2020 that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is to be extended to the end of October.

View blog

Furlough and insolvency – are employees protected?

As more retailers and restauranteurs fall victim to insolvency, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the contracts of employment of employees furloughed before a company is placed into administration will be treated as having been adopted by its administrators, therefore entitling the employees to “super-priority” status over other creditors.

View blog

High Court extends employer’s duty of care to Dubai whistleblower

Employers with global networks which include a base in the UK should be aware that they can face expensive and damaging negligence claims from employees who are based overseas regardless of the whistleblowing regime.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up