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Selwyn Bloch QC and Nick Goodfellow successful in non-competition covenant solicitors case


Law By Design v Saira Ali [2022] EWHC 426 (QB)

On 28 February 2022 the High Court (Jason Beer KC sitting as a Deputy Judge) handed down judgment after trial in favour of the Claimant (LBD), upholding a 12 month non-competition covenant contained in a service agreement entered into by Defendant (Ms Ali).

Law By Design (LBD) is a Manchester based law firm that principally provides employment law services to NHS Bodies.  Ms Ali resigned her employment to join Weightmans as a partner, and prepared a business plan which set out her plan to transition a substantial proportion of LBD’s turnover to Weightmans.

The Judge upheld LBD’s claim to restrain Ms Ali from breaching the non-competition covenant in her service agreement by joining Weightmans, and rejected Ms Ali’s arguments that the covenant was unenforceable, or alternatively that it should not be enforced on discretionary grounds: see in particular paragraphs 85 to 103 of the Judgment, which can be found here.

Selwyn Bloch QC and Nick Goodfellow acted for LBD, instructed by Sally Marsden of Mayfair Rise Solicitors.  The decision has attracted press attention in the Law Society Gazette which can be found here.

The judgment follows the earlier interim decision of John Kimbell KC (sitting as a Deputy Judge) in which LBD successfully obtained a wasted costs order against Ms Ali, after she belatedly agreed to give satisfactory interim undertakings to Court pending speedy trial on the evening before the hearing of LBD’s interim injunction application, which is reported on Westlaw ([2021] EWHC 3010 (QB)) and can be found here.

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