Are post-termination restrictions on a recruitment consultant enforceable where information is widely available on social media?

By Clare Gilroy-Scott

The High Court has recently held that six-month non-dealing and non-solicitation post-termination restrictions were enforceable by the recruitment business against a former employee as the recruitment business had a legitimate business interest to protect, even though much of the information was in the public domain (East England Schools CIC [trading as 4myschools] v Palmer and another [2013] EWHC 4138 [QB]).

The employer was an educational recruitment business and Palmer was one of its consultants who dealt with teacher applicants. She left to join Sugarman Education as a senior consultant and 4myschools had reason to believe she was acting in breach of her restrictive covenants. It made an application to the High Court for damages, arguing that it had a proprietary interest to protect, i.e. its trade connections with client schools and candidate teachers, and that Ms Palmer had built up close relationships with them, which she could now take advantage of for her own benefit and that of her new employer…

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