Employment contract lawyers see rise in non-compete disputes in court

Employment contract lawyers are seeing a rise in former agency employees being taken to court, after they leave to set up their own companies and fail to abide by “non-compete” covenants.

This rise in court cases is thought to be due to the increasingly restrictive contracts being given to agency employees who later leave to set up their own businesses. Contracts normally focus on covenants to deter direct competition if an employee leaves, these include non-solicitation of staff or clients and non-compete clauses that prevent ex-employees from working in competition, usually for a specific period of time. Contracts are often agreed at the beginning of employment and not changed as employees are promoted or roles change.

Although most cases do not make it to court employment contract lawyers are seeing Judges take a hard line with those that do, particularly in cases where clients or staff are “poached” before the period set out in a contract. Statistics show that the larger multinational companies are most likely to use the law to prevent competition and in some cases new companies can be forced to close if they contravene non-compete clauses set out in earlier employment contracts.

Employment contract lawyers note that these contractual issues generally apply to contracts with individual employees who subsequently set up a new venture but they do not apply to a future employer of that individual.

Myers Lister Price Solicitors are here to help if you have any disputes relating to non-compete causes or any other employment contract issues. If you need advice, contact our team of highly trained specialist solicitors at Myers Lister Price on 0845 0738 445 or email info@mlpsolicitors.co.uk