Rock Refrigeration Limited v Jones and Seward Refrigeration Limited: CA 10 Oct 1996

The claimant sought to enforce a post employment restrictive covenant given by the defendant. The defendant replied that the clause was too widely framed and was unreasonable since it applied to a temination of his contract ‘howsoever occasioned’. The employer appealed the decision against it based on D -v- M.
Held: It was necessary to distinguish between the arguments regarding covenants in restraint of trade and the situation here where the issue was as to unfairness. The law against restraint renders invalid a covenant which would otherwise be valid. Phrases like ‘for any reason whatsoever’ are themselves fatal to the enforceability of such covenants.
Simon Brown LJ, Morritt LJ, Phillips LJ
Gazette 06-Nov-1996, Times 17-Oct-1996, [1997] ICR 938, [1996] EWCA Civ 694, [1997] 1 All ER 1, [1996] IRLR 675
England and Wales
CitedGeneral Billposting Company Limited v Atkinson HL 1908
The employers had dismissed their employee manager ‘in deliberate disregard of the terms of the contract’ in such a way as ‘to evince an intention no longer to be bound by the contract.’ The manager had successfully brought an action for wrongful . .
CitedD v M QBD 18-Mar-1996
A post employment restrictive covenant was unreasonable where an employee was restricted even after the wrongful termination of his employment by the company. Laws J set out the appropriate principle: ‘A restrictive covenant, having effect after the . .
CitedBriggs v Oates 1990
A former assistant solicitor, whose contract had been brought to an end by the dissolution of the partnership which had employed him, was held to be bound by a restrictive provision expressed to operate once the agreement ‘shall have determined for . .
CitedLiving Design (Home Improvements) Ltd v Davidson OHCS 1994
A post employment restrictive covenant operated for a period of six months after the end of his employment ‘however that comes about and whether lawful or not.’
Held: Lord Coulsfield found this wholly unreasonable. . .
CitedJA Mont (UK) Limited v Mills 1993
The courts should not too readily construe restrictive covenants, ex facie too wide, as being subject to implicit limitations since: ‘Thus would be perpetuated the long-recognised vice of ex-employees being left subject to apparently excessive . .
CitedPhoto Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd HL 14-Feb-1980
Interpretation of Exclusion Clauses
The plaintiffs had contracted with the defendants for the provision of a night patrol service for their factory. The perils the parties had in mind were fire and theft. A patrol man deliberately lit a fire which burned down the factory. It was an . .
CitedPR Consultants Scotland Ltd v Mann OHCS 1996
The house considered a clause imposing a post employment restrictive covenant which was to operate for twelve months ‘following the termination of [the employee’s] employment hereunder (howsoever caused).’
Held: Lord Caplan said: ‘With regard . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 April 2021; Ref: scu.140561