Case details

Tillman (Respondent) v Egon Zehnder Ltd (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0182

Case summary

  1. Whether the doctrine of restraint of trade is engaged by a restriction on post-employment shareholding;
  2. The proper construction of the phrase "interested in" in a non-competition covenant;
  3. The correct approach to severance of a non-competition covenant.

The Appellant is a professional services firm, specialising in executive search and recruitment. The Respondent was employed by the Appellant until 30 January 2017. Her contract of employment contained a non-competition clause which prevented her from engaging or being concerned or interested in any business carried on in competition with the Appellant’s business. Following her termination, she wished to take employment with a competitor. The Appellant applied for an injunction restraining the Respondent from working for a competitor for six months from the termination of her employment. The judge granted the injunction, rejecting the arguments that the covenant was in unreasonable restraint of trade. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal against the grant of the injunction. The Appellant now seeks permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2017] EWCA Civ 1054



Egon Zehnder Limited


Mary Caroline Tillman



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden

Hearing start date

21 Jan 2019

Hearing finish date

22 Jan 2019

Watch hearing
21 Jan 2019 Morning session Afternoon session
22 Jan 2019 Morning session