Restrictive Covenant Solicitors

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What is a restrictive covenant

Restrictive covenants are typically found in employment contracts, business sales or property matters in England and Wales. Restrictive covenants are used to put restrictions on land owners or employees. Fortunately, it is not always possible to enforce a restrictive covenant in certain situations. Working with restrictive covenant solicitors can assist clients in negotiating a release from a restrictive covenant, or obtaining a modification or discharge from the covenant.

Restrictive covenants in employment law

In UK employment law, a restrictive covenant is a clause in an employment contract that limits an employee’s ability to work for a competitor or solicit clients after leaving the company. These covenants are designed to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests, such as trade secrets, confidential information, and customer relationships. Examples of restrictive covenants in employment contracts include non-compete clauses, non-solicitation clauses, and non-disclosure clauses. These covenants are enforceable in the UK, but they must be reasonable in their scope and duration, otherwise, they can be considered unenforceable.

Restrictive covenants in property law

A restrictive covenant in UK law is a type of agreement that limits the use of land or property in a certain way. It is typically used to protect the interests of a property owner or a neighbourhood by placing restrictions on the activities that can be carried out on the land.

Examples of restrictive covenants include limitations on the use of the land for certain purposes, such as commercial use, or restrictions on the types of structures that can be built on the land. These covenants are legally binding and can be enforced through the courts. They can have a negative impact of parties applying for planning permission.


Restrictive covenants in mergers and acquisitions

In the context of mergers and acquisitions, restrictive covenants are often used to protect the interests of the parties involved. These covenants can be included in the purchase agreement or other legal documents and may be used to protect the buyer’s investment or the seller’s assets.

For example, a buyer may include restrictive covenants in a purchase agreement to limit the seller’s ability to compete with the buyer’s business after the sale. This could include non-compete clauses, non-solicitation clauses, and non-disclosure clauses. These covenants are designed to prevent the seller from using confidential information or customer relationships to start a competing business or solicit customers away from the buyer.

On the other hand, the seller may include restrictive covenants in the purchase agreement to protect their assets and ensure that the buyer will not misuse or damage them. For example, the seller may include clauses that prohibit the buyer from using the seller’s intellectual property, trademarks or trade secrets without permission.

In general, restrictive covenants in mergers and acquisitions can be beneficial for both parties, as they provide a way to protect against potential risks and ensure that the investment is protected. However, these covenants must be reasonable in their scope and duration in order to be enforceable.

The role of restrictive covenant solicitors


Restrictive covenant solicitors have experience in dealing with restrictive covenants every day. They are experts in their field and can help in several ways:

  • Advising on the enforceability of restrictive covenants: A solicitor can review the language and terms of the restrictive covenant and advise on its enforceability under the law.
  • Negotiating changes to restrictive covenants: If a restrictive covenant is too restrictive or too broad, a solicitor can work with the other party to negotiate changes that are more reasonable and acceptable to both parties.
  • Representing clients in court: If a restrictive covenant is being disputed and cannot be resolved through negotiation, a solicitor can represent the client in court and argue their case.
  • Drafting restrictive covenants: If a client wants to include restrictive covenants in an employment contract or other legal document, a solicitor can draft the language and terms to ensure that the covenants are enforceable and protect the client’s interests.
  • Breaches of restrictive covenants: If someone breaches a restrictive covenant, the parties with benefit of the covenant can take legal action to enforce the covenant and seek remedy for the breach.
  • Advising on compliance with restrictive covenants: A solicitor can advise clients on how to comply with restrictive covenants without breaking the terms of the agreement, and how to avoid disputes.
  • Advising on the impact of restrictive covenants on property transactions.

In summary, a restrictive covenant solicitor can provide legal advice and representation for clients involved in disputes or negotiations related to restrictive covenants. This helps to ensure that the rights and interests of their clients are protected.


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