Putsman v Taylor: KBD 1927

The plaintiff employed the defendant as manager of his tailoring business at 49 Snow Hill in Birmingham. The defendant covenanted that, following the end of his employment, he would not be employed by a tailor (a) anywhere else on Snow Hill nor (b) within half a mile of Aston Cross nor (c) within half a mile of the Bristol Road. He became employed by a tailor at 73 Snow Hill. The covenant was severed The court removed (b) and (c) as too wide and enforced (a) against the defendant by way of injunction. Salter J suggested at that in the Attwood case it had been Lord Sterndale who had articulated a definite test, namely whether severance would render the covenant different in kind and not only in extent; and he held that removal of (b) and (c) affected only the extent of the covenant. Talbot J observed at that the law relating to the severability of illegal contracts was as fully applicable to those in restraint of trade as to those illegal in any other respect; and that Lord Moulton’s observations in the Mason case referred to the inability of the court to substitute terms which had not been expressed for terms which were unreasonably wide.


Salter J


[1927] 1 KB 637


England and Wales

Cited by:

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. 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.675713