Egon Zehnder Ltd v Tillman: ChD 23 May 2017

Application for an injunction to enforce an employee restrictive covenant which, if effective, would restrain the defendant from working for a competitor of the claimant for a period of six months from the termination of her employment. Mann J, at first instance, observed that the company regarded Ms Tillman as ‘a bit special’ and that it expected to promote her. It duly promoted her to be a principal in 2006 and to be a partner in 2009. A condition of her becoming a partner was that she should hold shares in the Swiss holding company; and she began to do so. In 2012 she became joint global head of the company’s financial services practice area. The agreement made in 2003 was never replaced in order to reflect her promotions although no doubt a few of its terms, in particular relating to her remuneration, then changed.
Held: The injunction was granted. Mann J so construed the word ‘interested’ in the non-competition covenant as not to prohibit Ms Tillman from holding shares in any of the competing businesses there specified. He therefore had no need to address what he took to be the company’s alternative contention that, together of course with the word ‘or’, the word should be severed and removed from the remainder of the clause; he added however that, although it had not been developed at any length, he did not find that contention appealing.


Mann J


[2017] EWHC 1278 (Ch), [2017] IRLR 828




England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromTillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd CA 21-Jul-2017
Post employment restrictive covenant – unreasonable restraint of trade – six months restriction – not to become shareholder in a competitor.
Held: The injunction against employment was discharged . .
At First InstanceTillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd SC 3-Jul-2019
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Employment

Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.588010