Employee Seeks Court Order In Relation To Post-Termination Restrictive Covenant

Author:Ms Melanie Crowley
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran
 
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The decision in question came in the case of Octavio Hernandez v Vodafone Ireland Limited [2013 IEHC 70].

Mr. Hernandez worked for Vodafone from October 2005 until January 2013. His contract of employment contained three provisions which ultimately became the subject of his application for declaratory relief, as follows:

9.3 You shall not, without prior written consent of Vodafone, within 6 months after the termination of your employment with Vodafone howsoever caused, directly or indirectly and whether alone or with any other person, either as principal, shareholder, director, employee, agent, consultant or otherwise, work or be engaged or interested in...any business or commercial activity in Ireland which competes or conflicts (or is likely to compete or conflict) with any business interest or commercial activity of Vodafone. 9.4 You shall not, without prior written consent of Vodafone, within 6 months after the termination of your employment with Vodafone howsoever caused, directly or indirectly and whether alone or with any other person, solicit or entice away or attempt or cause others to solicit or entice away from Vodafone any person who shall have been an employee, customer, or agent of Vodafone in the 6 months immediately preceding the termination of your employment. Clause 10 was headed "Confidentiality" and contained detailed provisions protecting and restricting disclosure by Mr. Hernandez of information obtained during his employment relating to any aspect of Vodafone's business, which may be reasonably regarded as being of a confidential nature. Mr. Hernandez resigned from his employment with Vodafone in order to take up a position with 02/Telefonica with a start date of 21 January 2013. In addition to corresponding with Mr. Hernandez following his resignation, Vodafone wrote to 02 pointing out that Mr. Hernandez was subject to "...a strict six month non-compete and non-solicitation provision and a comprehensive confidentiality clause..." and that Mr. Hernandez would be in breach of his obligations if he took up employment with 02 before 24 July 2013.

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