Intercall Conferencing Services Ltd v Steer: QBD 15 Mar 2007

The claimant company sought an interim injunction to prevent the defendant, a former employee, from working for a competitor in breach of a clause in his contract and from divulging any confidential information. The defendant said that the non-competition clause was too wide, but was content not to divulge any confidential material. He had been a senior employee with full access to a wide range of systems information. The clause required him not to be employed by a competitor for six months. There was no geographical limit.
Held: The defendant did have confidential information. The clause was necessary because ‘ difficulties in identifying what is and what is not confidential information may mean that a non-competition clause is the most satisfactory term of restraint. The six month period seems to me to be appropriate and the words ‘which are in competition with the business carried on by the Company’ are reasonable. The capacity in which the employee in fact works for the new employer cannot in itself be decisive. If he possesses confidential information which it is appropriate to protect and there is a risk that in the course of his new work the duty of confidentiality may be breached, it matters not in precisely what capacity he is to work.’ The court must last consider still whether it should exercise its discretion to grant the injunction. Though the defendant would suffer loss, if the final injunction was refused, he could be adequately compensated in damages.
Nelson J
[2007] EWHC 519 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAmerican Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd HL 5-Feb-1975
Interim Injunctions in Patents Cases
The plaintiffs brought proceedings for infringement of their patent. The proceedings were defended. The plaintiffs obtained an interim injunction to prevent the defendants infringing their patent, but they now appealed its discharge by the Court of . .
CitedTFS Derivatives Ltd v Morgan QBD 15-Nov-2004
The claimant sought to enforce a post employment restrictive covenant. There was a 6 months’ prohibition, post-termination of employment (less any period of garden leave) on any employment which was competitive with the business of a former . .
CitedThomas v Farr Plc and Another CA 20-Feb-2007
The employee, the former chairman of the company, appealed a finding that his contract which restricted his being employed for one year in the same field after termination, was valid and enforceable. The company had provided insurance services to . .
CitedBrake Brothers Limited v Ungless QBD 2004
The court considered the law relating to post employment restrictive covenants. Gloster J said: ‘(1) Covenants in Restraint of Trade are prima-facie unlawful and accordingly are ‘to be treated with suspicion’ see per Laddie J in Countrywide Assured . .
CitedTFS Derivatives Ltd v Morgan QBD 15-Nov-2004
The claimant sought to enforce a post employment restrictive covenant. There was a 6 months’ prohibition, post-termination of employment (less any period of garden leave) on any employment which was competitive with the business of a former . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 February 2021; Ref: scu.250622