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

can a wide non-solicitation post-termination restriction be valid?

17 October 2013

A restrictive covenant preventing an ex-employee from soliciting customers from its former employer can be valid, even if the clause is not restricted to customers that the ex-employee has had recent dealings with.

In Coppage v Safety Net Services, Mr Coppage appealed against a decision that he had breached a non-solicitation clause. He argued that the clause was unreasonable, and therefore invalid, as it was not restricted to those customers he had dealt with in the last 12 months of his employment.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, stating there was nothing to suggest the trial judge had erred in deciding that the clause was reasonable overall. The fact that the covenant was limited to 6 months was a key factor.

The court reiterated that these cases are highly dependent on their specific facts. It is therefore important to remember that restrictive covenants will be void, unless the employer can show it has a legitimate business interest to protect and that the restriction goes no further than is reasonably necessary.

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