Team moves & restraints
Protecting your business from unfair competition is vitally important. You have invested in building relationships with clients/customers and contacts. You have recruited good people and have spent time, money and effort developing them. You have trusted people with sensitive commercial information which your competitors would be only too pleased to get their hands on. If you are in protective mode, the last thing you want is for all that to walk out of the door as a result of one or more key people leaving.
On the other hand, you may be in expansive mode, looking to recruit good people from competitors. You do not want candidates to be unfairly restrained from joining you, or from operating effectively after they have joined. Nor do you want to get embroiled in litigation with your competitors attempting to enforce restraint clauses in their contracts of employment.
This is a difficult area of employment law and the stakes are often high. Employers are potentially entitled to enforce post-termination restraints to the extent that they go no further than is reasonable to protect the employer’s legitimate interests. But identifying those legitimate interests and deciding what restraints are reasonable to protect them is a complex business demanding specialist expertise and tailored advice.
Our protective work for employers in this area includes:
- Drafting contractual restrictions, garden leave clauses and related incentive and termination clauses tailored to the business;
- Advising on introducing restrictions and garden leave clauses for existing employees;
- Advising on practical steps to protect the business, including with regard to confidential information and client/customer relationships and team relationships
- Advising on the fiduciary duties, duties of fidelity of directors and employees
- Enforcing restrictions, garden leave clauses, fiduciary and other obligations through the Courts, including in relation to team moves
Our expansive work for employers in this area includes:
- Advising on the effect of restrictions, garden leave clauses, fiduciary and other obligations in relation to individual and team moves;
- Advising on tactics for individual and team moves into the employer’s organisation, including on timing, contacts between team members and contacts with clients;
- Responding to threats of enforcement of restrictions, garden leave clauses and fiduciary duties and defending such claims in the High Court (and beyond).