Restrictive covenants

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Gateley Legal

Restrictive covenants can be a powerful tool in protecting a business. They protect business value and can buy you valuable time when you are under threat from competition after an employee or director leaves.

Our team advise on a range of restrictive covenants to protect your business. The most commonly used are non-compete restrictions, which essentially keep a former employee/ director from competing with your business in any way for a certain amount of time. Other types of restrictive covenant prevent solicitation of key customers, prevent dealings as a whole with key customers or contacts, and prevent the poaching of staff members.

In order to be enforceable, restrictive covenants must be very carefully drafted and should be reviewed and updated regularly.

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What do we do?

Our expert team advises on how best to draft and manage employment contracts in order to use restrictive covenants to effectively protect your business. We also advise businesses on how to reduce the threat of claims arising, particularly when recruiting new employees and in situations involving team moves.

We can advise at an early stage on the enforceability and scope of restrictive covenants and assist with the formulation of a plan to avoid common pitfalls.

Our expert litigators regularly advise businesses in situations involving restrictive covenants. If one of your employees leaves to work in a competing business and tries to take your customers, employees and/ or confidential information with them, we can take urgent action to enforce restrictive covenants and protect your confidential information.

The courts will grant highly-effective remedies in such circumstances. We can seek interim injunctions preventing a former employee (or new employer) from breaching the covenants in their employment contract. We can also obtain delivery up orders or search orders which require the former employee (or new employer) to deliver up any evidence of their wrongdoing or allow us to search their premises for that evidence and also allow us to copy any web-based email accounts and their electronic data storage devices. These tools are very powerful and often lead to a quick and effective resolution of the dispute.

Where urgent action through the courts may not be appropriate, we can help you to warn off ex-employees from breaching the restrictions in their employment contracts and obtain undertakings from them that they will comply.

If a claim is issued against you or your business, we can advise on action to take to defend and reduce the impact of any claim.

Who do we help?

We work with organisations of all sizes, typically working closely with HR, people and talent teams or senior executives and business owners.

Got a question? Get in touch.