As the world of business has become more technical and complex and as competition has intensified there has been a substantial increase in the number and type of problems related to post employment competition and customer solicitation.
In the absence of a restrictive covenant, it was formerly thought that employers had very limited remedies against former employees and the courts generally only afforded protection in circumstances where the employee took with him or her “hard copy” such as customer lists or confidential documents.
Over the past 20 years, however, there has been a substantial change in the protection afforded to employers when faced with unscrupulous former employees who take advantage of confidential information gleaned from their former employment and use it to their own advantage or to the advantage of a new employer and to the detriment of their former employer.
The following is a review of these developments, firstly in circumstances where a restrictive covenant is in place and secondly where a restrictive covenant is absent.
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