M and S Drapers (a Firm) v Reynolds: CA 1956

The defendant, a collector salesman entered the employment of a firm of credit drapers at a weekly wage of andpound;10. He brought with him the connection of customers acquired in previous employments. He entered into a restrictive covenant that he would not for a period of 5 years, following the termination of his service, canvass or solicit orders in the way of the business of a credit draper from anyone who had during the three years immediately preceding such termination, been a customer upon whom he, the servant, had called in the course of his duties for the firm.
Held: The covenant was unreasonably restrictive having regard to the firm’s business and the salesman’s employment, to the duration of the restriction and to the circumstances that a large proportion of the customers covered by the covenant were persons who had formed the salesman’s connection before he entered the firm’s employment.
Morris LJ said: ‘I do not consider that restriction would necessarily be held to bunreasonable merely because it could be shown possibly to extend to one or two cases beyond the range of contemplated protection.’


Morris LJ


[1956] 3 All ER 814, [1957] 1 WLR 9


DistinguishedGilford Motor Co Ltd v Horne CA 1933
The defendant was the plaintiff’s former managing director. He was bound by a restrictive covenant after he left them. To avoid the covenant, he formed a company and sought to transact his business through it. At first instance, Farwell J had found . .

Cited by:

CitedAssociated Foreign Exchange Ltd v International Foreign Exchange (UK) Ltd and Another ChD 26-May-2010
The claimant sought interim injunctions to enforce a restrictive covenant against solicitation of customers in a former employee’s contract. The employee, a FOREX dealer, had been placed on garden leave for three months and then his contract . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.416454