‘Restraining Competition by Employees – A Practical Guide to Restrictive Covenants, Injunctions and Other Remedies’ by Peter Linstead


Paperback: 978-1-912687-38-1
Published: October 2020
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Preventing a former employee from using his or her skills and knowledge to make a living, even if those skills have been taught by the former employer, is an unlawful restraint of trade. The law permits interference with the employee’s freedom in this area only to the very limited extent necessary to protect an employer’s legitimate interest. Nevertheless, the law will provide a remedy if the employee has committed or threatens to commit an unlawful act (usually a breach of contract or a breach of confidence).

The purpose of this book is to explain, in a concise and understandable format, the ways in which the law provides a remedy in this situation. It is also a step-by-step guide to the relevant procedure. The intention is to focus on the most common issues that arise in these cases, the main forms of remedy and the most important recent cases rather than to provide an exhaustive catalogue of this area of law, which can be found in other publications. It is aimed at solicitors and barristers who seek a better understanding of this area and who may need to take a client’s claim through the courts, but also at lay people.


Peter Linstead is a barrister specialising in Employment Law, with a commercial focus. He has over 20 years’ experience of acting in High Court employment disputes.  He is a member of Outer Temple Chambers and was formerly the Head of the Employment Group in another leading common law chambers in London. He is frequently instructed in High Court claims relating to the termination of employment, in particular interim injunction applications and claims for damages based on breach of fidelity and fiduciary duties. He also acts in claims relating to bonus schemes and long-term incentive schemes and has extensive experience in High Court claims for workplace stress and harassment.

Peter is ranked as a “leading junior” in UK Employment Law by Legal 500 and acted in some of the most important recent cases concerning both disability discrimination and employment status in the ‘gig economy’. He has appeared without a leader in the Court of Appeal on a range of matters including public sector equal pay and race discrimination. He writes and lectures extensively on Employment Law. He is the Editor of the Tolley’s Employment Law Service section on ‘Absence from Work’. He is an active member of the Education and Training Committee of the Employment Lawyers’ Association.

Peter also has an international practice focussing on the Courts of the DIFC in Dubai and he is instructed in a range of cases in that jurisdiction, including injunction applications. He has expertise in the DIFC’s Court Rules and Employment Law and was recently instructed by the DIFC Authority to advise on aspects of the drafting of their primary legislation. He also advises in the Isle of Man jurisdiction.


1. Introduction
2. Issues During Employment
3. What to Do After the Employee Has Left
4. The Decision Whether or Not to Go for an Injunction
5. How to Lodge the Application in Court and the Interlocutory Hearing Process
6. What Happens at the Interlocutory Hearing?
7. Using the Court Process to Find Out What the Ex-Employee Has Done
8. Things That Can Go Wrong – Indemnity Costs and Committal
9. Confidential Information – How Is It Defined and How Can It Be Protected?
10. What to Do if There Are No Contractual Restraints on Soliciting and Competing
11. Drafting, Interpreting and Enforcing Express Restrictions – Solicitation, Competition and Confidential Information
12. Damages