Supreme Court of Tasmania

A restraint of trade clause with 8,190 separate covenants was considered certain and not wholly unreasonable in a decision of the Supreme Court of Tasmania (Court).

In Australia, restraint of trade clauses are, on the face of it, void as a matter of public policy.  However, Australian Courts may enforce a restraint of trade clause to the extent it is reasonable to protect the former employer’s legitimate business interests.

The decision arose from an application made by Bulk Frozen Foods Pty Ltd (Company) in which the Company sought a declaration that the restraint of trade clause in its General Manager’s employment contract (Restraint) was valid and enforceable.  The General Manager had been with the Company for just over 6 months before resigning to take up a position with a competitor.