Bartholomews Agri Food Ltd v Thornton

Restraint of trade by agreement – Employer and employee. The Queen's Bench Division, in refusing an application for an interim injunction against the respondent, a former employee, in which it sought to enforce the terms of a restrictive covenant contained in the respondent's contract of employment, held that the relevant clause was in restraint of trade and unenforceable. The clause also provided that the respondent would continue to be paid in full by his former employer for the duration of the covenant, provided that he complied with the restriction. The covenant was plainly far wider than was reasonably necessary for the protection of the applicant's business interests. It was contrary to public policy in effect to permit an employee to purchase a restraint.

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