The Royal Court has reiterated that injunctive relief will not be granted lightly and that good cause must be shown as to why restrictive covenants should be enforced. It lifted injunctions (relating to post-employment restrictions) granted ex parte confirming that:
“It is a fundamental principle of justice that a Court order should not generally be made without giving the other party an opportunity to be heard.”
The Court noted that in exceptional circumstances, where an organisation needed to take urgent action to protect its interests, an ex parte injunction application, made without notice to the other side, might be granted.
In this case, however, there was no evidence that the defendants had been about to do anything which would injure the interests of the organisation in question.
Further, on consideration of the merits, the Royal Court held that it was unlikely that the covenants would be enforced at a full hearing of the case. The plaintiff had asserted confidentiality over a mass of knowledge. It had failed to identify any confidential information or trade secrets that could fairly be regarded as its own property, as opposed to skills or general knowledge developed by the individuals over the courses of their respective careers, which they were entitled to regard as their own. Accordingly the Royal Court declined to re-impose the injunctions.
Case: CPA Limited v Keogh & De St Paer
Type of claim: Restrictive covenants; confidentiality; application to set aside interim injunctions; injunctive relief
Judgment date: 05.05.15