Landmark Supreme Court ruling finds non-compete clause was not too wide to be enforced

By August 5, 2019Uncategorized

The Supreme Court ruled that restrictive covenants preventing an employee from being “concerned or interested” in a competitor for six months after she left the business were not too wide to be enforceable.

In a decision that experts said would come as a relief to employers, judges overturned a previous Court of Appeal decision and formally reinstated an injunction against a former employee of recruitment firm Egon Zehnder, Mary-Caroline Tillman, which would have prevented her from taking up employment with a competitor had the contractual period of restraint not since expired.

The case set the precedent that restrictive covenants can be broadly enforceable even if there are elements of the contract a court might deem to have gone ‘too far’, and that offending words can be removed from a contract if it does not substantially change the overall effect of the restraint.