Experts on the protection of business information

Two of the most valuable assets of any business are its confidential information and its key staff.

Confidential business information takes many forms and how a business can protect it will vary with the type of information. However with the right documents and policies in place most information that is important to a business can be protected from use by competitors and – crucially – from misuse by former employees.

Read more about this subject in our introduction to protecting your business information.

Restrictive covenant creation and enforcement

Employers and employees often wrongly assume that post-termination restrictive covenants do not work or are in breach of European competition law. However, in reality the courts have always been willing to uphold and enforce restrictive covenants. What is true is that the courts are reluctant to imply protection for employers into contracts of employment which are silent on post-termination restrictions. It has never been more important for employers to spell out in the contract the restrictions they need to protect their business.

A well-expressed, reasonable restrictive covenant is the single most effective way for an employer to protect its business against unfair competition and the theft of confidential data by departing employees.

Restrictive covenants can help you to:

  • Deter staff – individuals or teams – from joining your competitors.
  • Deter competitors from poaching your staff.
  • Ensure your contracts are tailored to reflect the circumstances that exist between you and a particular employee.

Even in the absence of restrictive covenants, all may not be lost. Where business information is taken, copied or even liberally memorised it may still be possible to take action against ex-employees by effective reliance upon implied contractual duties or database rights.

Specialist advice from a leading restrictive covenants solicitor

Gaby Hardwicke Employment Law Partner Paul Maynard is a recognised expert in the field of restrictive covenant creation and enforcement. He regularly receives referrals from barristers’ chambers on account of his expertise and enquiries from academics who want to know more about this specialised area of employment law.

FAQ videos

See Paul’s answers to the most commonly asked questions on restrictive covenants in our FAQ videos. Or contact Paul Maynard for specific, expert advice.

Do you need a restrictive covenants review?

Most restrictive covenants will require a periodic review. If circumstances have changed for your business or its staff since the time the restrictive covenants were created, then their enforceability may be compromised. Contact Paul Maynard to book a review of your restrictive covenants.

Read more about this and related subjects in our introductions to:

Based in East Sussex but serving a much wider area, Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors has offices in Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne.

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