Restrictive Covenants, Confidentiality & Intellectual Property

Solicitors in Essex & London


With the surge in social media usage, it is becoming more and more important that employers protect themselves and their business from current and past employees. Most members of staff are likely to have access to confidential information relating to your business. If there is no confidentiality clause in their contract of employment, you may have little recourse as an employer unless that information amounts to a trade secret.

What happens, for example, when an employee who was engaged in a sales role ceases to be an employee? Are restrictive covenants specified in their contract to prevent them from soliciting customers and suppliers, or restrictions on working for competitors? Our team of Legal 500 recommended solicitors based in offices across Essex and London are experienced in this somewhat complex area of employment law.

Our legal advice would include:

  • Ensuring your recruitment procedures are whilst being protected from attacks by disgruntled applicants.
  • Ensuring your contracts contain fair and relevant protections for your confidential information.
  • Advising upon and drafting restrictions that may be needed post-termination of a contract; for example, non-solicitation of employees, customers and suppliers, and restrictions on working for competitors.
  • Restricting use of social media and internet usage for employees.
  • Ensuring you have adequate lawful monitoring in place to monitor employees’ internet use and emails.
  • Ensuring that your intellectual property is protected.
  • Ensuring you have adequate rights to have company property and confidential information returned on request or upon termination of employment.
  • Ensuring you have access to employees’ work related social media (i.e. LinkedIn) so contacts made during employment can be deleted.

Employers should be aware that the general position is that any contractual term restricting an employee's activities after termination is void for being in restraint of   trade and contrary to public policy unless the employer can show that:

  • It has a legitimate proprietary interest that is appropriate to protect
  • The protection sought is no more than is reasonable having regard to the interests of the parties and the public interest
  • Advising upon and drafting restrictions that may be needed post-termination of a contract; for example, non-solicitation of employees, customers and suppliers, and restrictions on working for competitors.

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Our employment law solicitors in Essex and London are experts in bringing and defending claims regarding breach of confidentiality and post-termination restrictions. Please feel free to contact any of our employment law solicitors directly to discuss your requirements in more detail; we are more than happy to provide you with free initial advice in the form of a telephone consultation.

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