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In Coppage & Anor v Safety Net Security Ltd the Court of Appeal found the following restrictive clause to be reasonable in an employment contract:

It is a condition of your employment, that for a period of six months immediately following termination of your employment for any reason whatsoever, you will not, whether directly or indirectly as principal, agent, employee, director, partner or otherwise howsoever approach any individual or organisation who has during your period of employment been a customer of ours, if the purpose of such an approach is to solicit business which could have been undertaken by us.”

This case arose because the former employee set up his own business soon after leaving the respondent’s employment and solicited five existing clients from his former employer. The court found that the new company was liable alongside its’ founder (the former employee) for the breaches of the restrictive covenant (in the sum of £50,000)


The judgement gives some key indicators underpinning the law on drawing up such covenants.

Neutral Citation Number: [2013] EWCA Civ 1176