The right staff are a key asset to your business. They manage your client relationships and provide the technical advice required in a fast paced industry. Key staff and consultants are often instrumental in building your business with their expert knowledge of your industry that they apply to the development of your business’ key products and services.
Should key staff and consultants move on however, you will want to ensure as far as legally possible, your business is protected from the disclosure of confidential information, trade secrets and the IP which has been developed over time.
It is worth noting that the law recognises your key sales staff can be lawfully prevented from taking advantage of your goodwill for a reasonable period after they have left. However the law finds the concept of preventing technical staff from taking advantage of their technical expertise difficult.
This is a huge risk. Without enforceable restrictive covenants, your technical staff can trade with all your customers after they leave and discuss your otherwise confidential business methods. Here’s how to look at the solution from the outset:
- Put careful consideration into notice periods (without overlooking redundancy costs).
- Prepare a well drafted gardening leave clause (which can be activated at your discretion).
- Have a strong, enforceable restrictive covenant.
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