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Employment

Restrictive Covenants
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Restrictive covenants are used in employment contracts when employment is terminated, to protect an employer’s business, intellectual property and prevent ex-employees poaching suppliers, clients and colleagues.

Restrictive covenants may also involve an agreement that an ex-employee will not work in a similar company or compete with an ex-employer for a period of time after employment ends.

An ex-employee may also be barred from discussing his former employer’s business, to protect intellectual property or information about an ex-employer’s clients.

• Non-competition covenants – a restrictive covenant on working for a similar company or in a similar field

• Non-dealing covenants – a restrictive covenant preventing an ex-employee doing business with an ex-employer’s clients or suppliers, even if they do not approach them first

• Non-poaching covenants – a restrictive covenant which prevents an ex-employee trying to poach former colleagues from an ex-employer

• Non-solicitation covenants – a restrictive covenant which prevents an ex-employee trying to poach suppliers or clients.

If an employee wishes to challenge a restrictive covenant, an employer must prove that the covenant is reasonable and not unreasonably restrictive – usually a restrictive covenant would have to comply with what is considered standard practice within a business sector and also be appropriate to an employee’s professional level within an industry or business.

Some restrictive covenants would involve a set time period – or a restriction which prevents a former employee operating within a certain geographic radius of their former employer. If this is challenged, an employer must prove that it is reasonable to impose this.

Restrictive covenants are likely to be imposed on senior members of staff in a firm – but may also be imposed on staff at any level, including contract staff.

Confidentiality clauses in contracts are not unusual, as well as clauses under which an employee hands over intellectual property to an employer e.g. a discovery made during employment or a piece of work or research.

Because restrictive covenants is a complex area of the law and such clauses may extend for a period of time beyond employment, it is important to seek advice from a specialist firm of employment solicitors before agreeing a contract of employment.

In some cases, an employer might try to assert that an ex-employee has breached a restrictive covenant – and we can advise on such cases, including cases where an employer might seek an injunction against a former employee.

We also advises on reviews of restrictive covenants to make sure they are still reasonable and enforceable – as well as cases involving employees who are required to spend their period of notice or a part of it at home and salaried (garden leave).

Our employment team can represent all types of employers, both large and small – as well as individual employees and collective employees in matters relating to the Employment Rights Act 1996 and restrictive covenants.

Service Fees

Type of Application: Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal Cases:

• Fixed Fee (estimate based on the work involved in conducting the matter)

• No win no fee agreement

• Private hourly rate agreement

Costs: Costs can be between - £800-£10,000 plus VAT. Average price £5000 plus VAT.

Hourly Rates:

• Director - £265.00 plus VAT (Approx.)

• Solicitor - £225 plus VAT (Approx.)

• Trainee Solicitor / Paralegal- £180.00 plus VAT (Approx.)

On average, this type of work entails 30 hours of work.

We will inform a client, after an initial paid meeting, whether a case is suitable for a fixed fee agreement or a no-win no fee agreement.

The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances in a case. Such as:

• The amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider.

• The number of witnesses and complexity of the evidence.

• The amount of documentation that we have to prepare.

• The amount of drafting that we have to carry out.

• The complexity of the case.

• The amount of negotiations. including ACAS negotiations, that we have to carry out.

• The length of any hearings.

• Whether there are any preliminary issues.

• The failure of a client to cooperate with advice

The costs are likely to be at the lower end range if the case is a free standing wrongful dismissal case or a straight forward unfair dismissal case.

Who will carry out the work?

• Director

• Solicitor

• Trainee Solicitor / Paralegal supervised by a Solicitor.

All the work is supervised by a director, who retains ultimate responsibility and conduct of matters.

What services are included in this?

• Initial attendance at our Offices and consideration of the options and assessing most appropriate way forward based on a client’s circumstances.

• Determining prospect of success and the possible level of damages.

• Negotiating with ACAS and with the employer.

• Considering Documents.

• Drafting ET1 and all Employment Tribunal Documents.

• Preparing witness statements and bundles.

• Attending hearings.

• Instructing a barrister if required.

• Considering and advising on Employment Tribunal Documents.

The costs quoted here do not include:

• Any Employment Tribunal fees.

• Other expenses where applicable such as travel, payment for copy documents etc.

• Counsel or expert fees.

• Employment Tribunal Costs Orders made against a client.

• Appeal costs.

• The Enforcement of any order.

We will let you know at the earliest opportunity and before any such fees are incurred by a client, if any of these are applicable.

Time scale:

• Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful dismissal cases take between 1 month to 1 year from initial instructions.

• Most cases have an initial time limit of 3 months minus one day to bring a case to an Employment Tribunal.

• Some wrongful dismissal cases can be brought to the County Court where the time limit is 6 years.

• The Employment Tribunal may reserve Judgement and list separate remedy hearings, which increase the length of time.

Please note that the anticipated number of hours and fees are an estimate based on the facts above. All applications are likely to vary and of course, we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

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Atlantic Solicitors Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the
Solicitors Regulation Authority with Registration No: 639404.
Atlantic Solicitors
is the trading name of Atlantic Solicitors Limited,
a company registered in England and Wales with Company No.: 10811768.
Company Registered Office: Suite 206, Island Business Centre, 18-36 Wellington Street London SE18 6PF.
VAT Registration No: 944 4461 14. A list of the Directors can be inspected at our Company Registered Office


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