Can a consultant be asked to enter into a restraint of trade clause?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 7 October 2014
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Yes, a consultant can be asked to enter into restraint of trade provisions. Essentially, the request raises two issues:


In essence, where a consultant and client will be on a more even footing than an employer and employee, the courts are less likely to consider such clauses as an unlawful restraint of trade. The way that such covenants involving consultants are interpreted is likely to be somewhere between the way that such covenants are interpreted in an employment relationship on the one hand, and in a sale and purchase agreement on the other. If a service company is used, the restrictive covenants will only bind the service company unless either the consultant is also a

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email

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