The Work Couch

The Work Couch: Business protection (Part 1): When a senior executive leaves

Published on 17 May 2023

Welcome to The Work Couch, the podcast series where we explore how your business can navigate today's tricky people challenges and respond to key developments in the ever-evolving world of employment law.

Following last week's announcement by the government of its plans to limit the extent of non-compete post-termination restrictions, we take a look at the proposals as well as how the current law protects businesses when a senior executive leaves. 

Patrick Brodie, partner and head of RPC's employment, equality and engagement team, explains how restrictive covenants work in practice, including:

  • An overview of the restraint of trade doctrine and how the approach by UK courts has evolved over time;
  • Whether restrictive covenants should still exist in today's economy;
  • How other countries approach restraints of trade; 
  • The various types of post-termination restriction and how they operate;
  • How long restrictive covenants can remain effective; 
  • Enforceability and associated tactics; 
  • "Blue pencilling", which refers to the deletion of words to make a restriction enforceable, and the Supreme Court's ground-breaking decision in Tillman v Egon Zehnder; and
  • How to manage the departure of a senior executive, where there is a potential breach of a post-termination restriction.

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All information is correct at the time of recording.  

The Work Couch is not a substitute for legal advice.