Mr Thomas was employed as managing director at Farr plc, an insurance broker specialising in providing services for providers of social housing. His contract contained a non-compete clause restricting him from competing for a period of 12 months post-termination. The contract also contained non-solicitation and confidentiality clauses.
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Thomas issued proceedings against Farr claiming damages for breach of contract, constructive dismissal, and that the non-compete clause in his contract was an unreasonable restraint of trade, and therefore unenforceable. The restrictive covenants issue was dealt with as a preliminary point by the High Court, which held that the 12-month non-compete clause was enforceable. Thomas appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal upheld the decision that the 12-month non-compete clause was enforceable. Despite Thomas' protestations to the contrary, the fact that he was the managing director of the company with overall responsibility for running the business, and was privy to all major strategic and operational decisions, mean