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Enforcing restrictive covenants

When employees leave your business, they may be tempted to compete unfairly with you. They may take confidential information, poach clients and colleagues, all with the view setting up on their own or assisting your competitors. Such action may do untold damage to your business, particularly if they were a senior member of your team.

A restrictive covenant is a clause in a contract that protects your business if a member of staff leaves. They aim to prevent an employee from joining a competitor for a limited period, from soliciting or working with customers or from soliciting or employing your staff. Without proper covenants in place, particularly for executive roles, your business is at risk.

The ease with which commercially sensitive or confidential information can be unlawfully obtained and circulated by employees is also a growing challenge for many businesses. Home-working has, in some ways, made it easier for an employee to obtain and store information under the radar and has created new challenges for employers.

How we can help you

Drafting restrictive covenants

Our employment solicitors can draft bespoke restrictive covenants to meet the specific requirements of your business, protecting your key customers, suppliers and staff.

Drafting restrictive covenants correctly is vital as courts will not enforce an unfair or inappropriate provision. Our employment solicitors can draft covenants designed to go no further than needed to protect your legitimate business interest and therefore stand a better chance of being enforced by a court. There is no such thing as an effective “off the shelf” set of clauses.

Injunctions and enforcing restrictive covenants

If you find or suspect that a former employee has breached their restrictive covenant, we can provide practical advice, swift action and commercial solutions to help you protect your business.

Our experienced team has a long record of bringing and defending injunctions, enforcing restrictive covenants and upholding confidentiality provisions. We are trusted, commercial and responsive. We work closely with our Commercial Litigation team, to pursue or defend damages claims arising from a restrictive covenant dispute.

Contact an employment solicitor

If you would like to learn more about how we can support your business, please contact a member of our Employment & HR team below or call 0800 652 8025.

Clarke Willmott has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton. We provide employment law and HR advice to businesses in the UK and internationally.

Your key contacts

Marc Long

Head of Employment and HR Team/COFA

Southampton and London
Marc Long is the Head of Clarke Willmott’s Employment and HR team specialising in TUPE and outsourcing.
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Anna Youngs


Anna is a Partner in Clarke Willmott’s Birmingham Employment & HR team supporting employers with all aspects of employee relations & employment law issues.
View profile for Anna Youngs >

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