Attwood v Lamont: KBD 1920

The claimant carried on business in Kidderminster as a draper, tailor and general outfitter, employed the defendant as a cutter in the tailoring department. The defendant covenanted not at any time thereafter to trade as ‘a tailor, dressmaker, general draper, milliner, hatter, haberdasher, gentlemen’s, ladies’ or children’s outfitter’ within ten miles of Kidderminster. The defendant left the claimant’s employment and set up business as a tailor; and, although he based it more than ten miles away, he returned to Kidderminster to obtain and execute tailoring orders there, including from the claimant’s former customers.
Held: The Divisional Court, on appeal from the county court, agreed that the list of prohibited trades was too wide but held that the covenant should be severed so as to enable the reference to all trades other than that of a tailor to be removed and that the defendant should be enjoined from trading as a tailor within ten miles of the town. The covenant was clearly severable.


Bailhache J, Sankey J


[1920] 2 KB 146


England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromAttwood v Lamont CA 2-Jan-1920
A court considering whether a restrictive covenant in an employment contract is reasonable, can sever words which render it too broad ‘if the severed parts are independent from one another and can be severed without the severance affecting the . .
OverruledTillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd SC 3-Jul-2019
The company appealed from rejection of its contention that its former employee should be restrained from employment by a competitor under a clause in her former employment contract. The court particularly considered the severability of a section . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 11 April 2022; Ref: scu.675712