Mitchel v Reynolds: 1711

A bond or promise to restrain oneself from trading in a particular place, if made upon a reasonable consideration, is good. (So Davis v Mason, 5 TR 118.) Secus if it be on no reasonable consideration, or to restrain a man from trading at all.
Lord Macclesfield held
(a) that all restraints of trade were presumed to be bad but that the presumption was rebuttable;
(b) that Judge Hull’s vehemence towards them had been excusable but not his manner of expressing it;
(c) that a restraint of trade throughout England would always be bad (‘for what does it signify to a tradesman in London what another does at Newcastle?’); but
(d) that this baker’s bond, limited to Holborn and to the five years of the assignment, was reasonable and should be enforced.


Lord Macclesfield


[1711] EngR 38, (1711) 1 P Wms 181, (1711) 24 ER 347




England and Wales

Cited by:

RestatedNordenfelt v Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company HL 1894
Exceptions to Freedom to Trade
The purchaser of the goodwill of a business sought to enforce a covenant in restraint of trade given by the seller.
Held: At common law a restraint of trade is prima facie contrary to public policy and void, unless it can be shown that the . .
CitedTillman 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. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Commercial

Updated: 10 April 2022; Ref: scu.391698