Defending senior ex-employees from allegations of breaches of restrictive covenants and confidential information

Michael Barrow recently, after a five-day trial, successfully defended two senior ex-employees and their company (set up post termination of employment) from claims by their former employer of breaches of various post termination restrictive covenants, breach of confidential information, inducement to breach contract, conspiracy to injure the financial interest of the former employer and for deliver up of confidential information and property allegedly removed by the employees.

The case centred around the incorporation of the restrictive covenants into the contracts of employment (and their enforceability in any event), the definition of confidential information therein and a consideration of the common law duty of confidentiality post termination for ex senior employees.

After hearing substantive evidence of fact and legal submissions at trial, all of the former employer’s claims were dismissed.

The important point and message from the case is to ensure incorporation of the post termination restrictions into the contracts of employment and to ensure they are reasonable in all the circumstances and only go so far as is necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of the former employer. If they are drafted in too wide terms, they may be unenforceable.