Land-use Conflict – Supreme Court Rules on the Discharge of Restrictive Covenants: Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust v Housing Solutions Ltd [2020] UKSC 45 – 39 Essex Chambers

‘The appeal in Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust v Housing Solutions Ltd [2020] UKSC 45 was the first time that either the Supreme Court or the House of Lords had considered the Upper Tribunal’s power to discharge or modify restrictive covenants affecting land under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925. The case confirms important principles affecting the interplay between private law property rights, planning and land use. Lord Burrows, giving the only substantive judgment of the Supreme Court, agreed with the Court of Appeal that the Upper Tribunal’s decision was wrong, but disagreed in a number of important respects with the speech of Sales LJ (as he then was) in the Court of Appeal ([2018] EWCA Civ 2679). For a number of reasons, it is likely that we shall be reading and re-reading this Supreme Court decision for many years to come.’

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39 Essex Chambers, 9th November 2020

Source: www.39essex.com

Restrictive Covenants: Ignore at your Peril – St Ives Chambers

Posted November 10th, 2020 in housing, news, public interest, restrictive covenants, Supreme Court by sally

‘In the first appeal in which the Supreme Court has been required to deal with s. 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925, it has delivered a strong warning to developers who may contemplate building on land in breach of a restrictive covenant: Ignore at your Peril.’

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St Ives Chambers, 8th November 2020

Source: www.stiveschambers.co.uk

New Judgment: Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust v Housing Solutions Ltd [2020] UKSC 45 – UKSC Blog

Posted November 10th, 2020 in housing, news, public interest, restrictive covenants, Supreme Court by sally

‘The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed this appeal concerning the correct approach to the ‘public interest’ requirement on an application for the modification or discharge of restrictive covenants under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (the “1925 Act”).’

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UKSC Blog, 6th November 2020

Source: ukscblog.com

New Judgment: Peninsula Securities Ltd v Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd (Northern Ireland) [2020] UKSC 36 – UKSC Blog

‘The appeal related to a restrictive covenant given by the developer of a shopping centre in a lease that it granted to a retailer over part of the centre. In giving the covenant the developer and later Peninsula each undertook not to allow any substantial shop to be built on the rest of the centre in competition with the Dunnes. Peninsula then argued that the covenant engaged the doctrine of restraint of trade; that it was unreasonable; and that it was therefore unenforceable. The appeal to the Supreme Court concerned whether the covenant engages the doctrine.’

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UKSC Blog, 19th August 2020

Source: ukscblog.com

Contempt of Court – Centek Holdings v Giles – NIPC Law

‘A case that shows how the committal procedure works is Centek Holdings Ltd. and others v Giles EWHC 1682 (Ch) (26 June 2020). For over 17 years Mr Trustram Files has been the claimant companies’ product development manager. In August 2019 Mr Giles left the claimants to take up a job in Malaysia. He took with him what was described as “very substantial amounts of confidential and proprietary material” belonging to his employer. His bosses suspected what he was doing and contained an order (“the Order”) from Mr Jystice Norris “not to use, access or distribute Centek Material (paragraph 2 of the Order), abide by specific restrictive covenants (paragraph 3 of the Order), disclose and preserve Centek Material and the “Devices” and “Accounts” on which it was kept (paragraphs 4 and 5(a)-(b) of the Order), preserve disclosable documents (paragraph 5(f) of the Order) and facilitate the imaging of such Devices and Accounts by “Independent Experts” (paragraph 6 of the Order).”‘

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NIPC Law, 7th July 2020

Source: nipclaw.blogspot.com

Post-termination Restrictive Covenants & Constructive Dismissal – Square Global Limited v Leonard [2020] EWHC 1008 (QB) – 3PB

‘Mr Leonard was recruited as a Broker by Square Global Limited (“Square”) in February 2015. He resigned summarily on 11 November 2019. For around seven months prior to his resignation, Mr Leonard had been in discussions with a rival financial services business, Market Securities, about leaving Square and joining them instead.’

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3PB, 2nd June 2020

Source: www.3pb.co.uk

Inducing Breach of Contract: – Reliance on Legal Advice Saves the Day in Court of Appeal – Littleton Chambers

Posted March 19th, 2020 in contract of employment, enforcement, news, restrictive covenants by sally

‘In an important decision yesterday (27 February), Allen v Dodd & Co Limited [2020] EWCA Civ 258, the Court of Appeal held that if a person believes their conduct will probably not result in a breach of a contract they will not be liable for inducing a breach even if: (a) they knew there was a risk of breach; and (b) the court subsequently finds such a breach.’

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Littleton Chambers, 28th February 2020

Source: www.littletonchambers.com

Client “acted reasonably” in relying on incorrect advice – Legal Futures

‘An employer acted reasonably in relying on legal advice that the restrictive covenants on a new employee were unlikely to be enforceable, even though they proved to be, the Court of Appeal has ruled.’

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Legal Futures, 2nd March 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Permitted Development (2) – the relationship to restrictive covenants – Exchange Chambers

‘The provisions in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 which permit changes of use from office to residential have been controversial, particularly in parts of the south of England where many local authorities fear the effects upon the supply of office accommodation in their areas. As a result, a number of authorities have exercised the powers in Article 4 of the Order to withdraw the rights from parts of their areas. A recent case in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) illustrates the issues involved where a Council adopts a different approach by attempting to rely on its rights as landlord to enforce leasehold restrictive covenants to prevent the implementation of a change of use proposal.’

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Exchange Chambers, 12th February 2020

Source: www.exchangechambers.co.uk

Non-compete Covenants and the Balance of Convenience: Affinity Workforce Solutions Ltd v McCann – Blackstone Chambers

Posted November 20th, 2019 in competition, covenants, injunctions, news, restrictive covenants, undertakings by sally

‘The High Court recently refused to grant an interim injunction in support of an alleged non-compete covenant, in particular because of the initial approach taken by the employer upon finding out the employees were working for a competitor.’

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Blackstone Chambers, 18th November 2019

Source: www.employeecompetition.com

Merits relevant in granting interim injunction: Berry Recruitment Limited v Brooke Donovan [2018] EWHC 2280 (QB) – Blackstone Chambers

‘An interim injunction was granted to a recruitment consultant against a former employee. Since there was a possibility that the restrictive covenant in question might expire before a speedy trial could be heard, the Judge took into account the relative merits of the claim.’

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Blackstone Chambers, 1st October 2018

Source: www.employeecompetition.com

The Perils of Unsigned Contracts of Employment and of Rushing to Court – Littleton Chambers

Posted August 7th, 2018 in contract of employment, injunctions, news, restrictive covenants by sally

‘There are numerous important lessons to be learned from the judgment in Tenon FM Limited v Cawley which was handed down orally on Wednesday 25th July 2018 by HHJ Bidder QC sitting as a Judge of the High Court but the main ones are:

1. Do not underestimate the difficulty of persuading a Court, even at the interim stage, to enforce restrictive covenants in a contract which the employee has not signed;

2. Where an employer is seeking to enforce restrictive covenants which it has introduced after the commencement of the employment, make sure its evidence in support sets out the consideration that was provided in respect of the same; and

3. Absent any real urgency, give the employee a genuine opportunity to respond to the employer’s concerns before issuing proceedings.’

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Littleton Chambers, 26th July 2018

Source: www.littletonchambers.com

Case Comment: Morris-Garner v One Step (Support) Ltd [2018] UKSC 20 – UK Supreme Court Blog

Posted April 27th, 2018 in contracts, damages, economic loss, news, restrictive covenants by tracey

‘PAUL NICHOLLS QC, MATRIX Case Comments: It is often very difficult in cases involving breaches of restrictive covenants and misuse of confidential information to recover damages. It can be hard to prove loss. Employees may adduce evidence to show, for example, that customers would have ceased to deal with the claimant employer as a result of the mere fact of the employee’s departure such that the employee’s breach of a non-solicitation covenant has not caused loss. In cases about misuse of confidential information, the employee may be able to show that information wrongly removed could easily have been obtained from legitimate sources such that no loss flows from the misuse.’

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UK Supreme Court Blog, 24th April 2018

Source: ukscblog.com

Supreme Court limits ‘negotiating damages’ for restrictive covenant breaches – OUT-LAW.com

Posted April 23rd, 2018 in damages, economic loss, news, restrictive covenants, Supreme Court by tracey

‘Damages awarded to the owners of a care business for the breach by their former business partners of a non-compete clause and other restrictive covenants should be calculated based on their actual financial loss, rather than hypothetical “negotiating damages”, the UK’s highest court has ruled.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 20th April 2018

Source: www.out-law.com

No Springboard Injunction for Breach of Confidence – Blackstone Chambers

‘Despite some suspect behaviour by the Defendants, the High Court refused to grant a springboard injunction to the Claimant for breach of confidence because the balance of evidence did not support the conclusion that any advantage had been gained through misuse of confidential information.’

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Blackstone Chambers, 27th November 2017

Source: www.employeecompetition.com

Starham v Greene King – Falcon Chambers

‘In 2014, Starham bought a piece of land on the Harrow Road. Most of the land was being used as a beer garden by the Masons Arms pub, owned by Greene King. Starham claimed this use was a trespass. Greene King claimed it was entitled to use the land as a beer garden by virtue of a right created by a conveyance dated 24 August 1855 which it said was an easement or a restrictive covenant.’

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Falcon Chambers, November 2017

Source: www.falcon-chambers.com

Autumn Newsletter – Falcon Chambers

– Prescriptive easements – a glass half-full: out with the negative; in with the positive 10

– Keeping the Title Clean: Unwanted Notices and Restrictions 12

– Estoppel in Pre-Contractual Negotiations 15

– The Curse of the Freebie 17

– Voidable and no Mistake 20

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Falcon Chambers, November 2017

Source: www.falcon-chambers.com

Commercial property: Restrictive covenants – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted November 22nd, 2017 in insurance, local government, London, news, planning, restrictive covenants, tribunals by sally

‘There are few cases so iconic that lawyers remember the names long after university or law school. One is Tulk v Moxhay [1848], the case on the restrictive covenants which have prevented building on Leicester Square. The date of that case demonstrates that well-drafted restrictive covenants on land are an effective way of controlling development of land indefinitely. However, not all restrictions are worthy of preservation, so the Law of Property Act 1925 contains in section 84 a mechanism for the release of land from restrictive covenants in certain circumstances.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 20th November 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Signature of St Albans (Property) Guernsey Ltd v Wragg [2017] EWHC 2352 (Ch) – Tanfield Chambers

Posted October 20th, 2017 in enforcement, injunctions, news, restrictive covenants by sally

‘The Court determined that restrictive covenants created by two conveyances dating back to 1910 continued to affect the Claimant’s property and were in principle enforceable by injunction by any or all of the Defendants against the Claimant.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 12th October 2017

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk

Restrictive Covenants – can I build a house in the garden? – Tanfield Chambers

Posted October 20th, 2017 in enforcement, news, public interest, restrictive covenants, sale of land by sally

‘The lure of profit can make the construction of a new house in the back garden a tempting prospect. Surely with the constant cry for new homes, such development should be encouraged? Unfortunately, even if planning permission can be obtained for the construction of a “starter-home” in the grounds, it is not uncommon to find a restrictive covenant registered against the title which prohibits the erection of more than one dwelling-house on the plot. “Nimby” neighbours can be all too keen to rely on such covenants to try and stop the proposed works.’

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Tanfield Chambers, 12th October 2017

Source: www.tanfieldchambers.co.uk