Jun 06

Court Finds for Warwick Wealth and Spirit Invest

An article written by Ian Kilbride

Warwick Wealth and its parent company, Spirit Invest, welcome the legal judgement received from the court that Warwick Wealth’s three-year restraint of trade is valid and enforceable, particularly as it prevents former employees from exploiting Warwick Wealth’s client base and soliciting business from its Lifestyle and Professional Networks.

Cliff Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH), a large South African legal practice, notes in its 29 May 2023 Employment Law Alert, that employers can take comfort in knowing that their protectable interests are safeguarded by the courts in the event of a breach of restraint of trade clause.

CDH reports that in the case of Warwick Wealth (Pty) Ltd versus Anderson and Others, Anderson’s conduct breached the (Spirit Invest) restraint clause by approaching a member of Warwick Wealth’s own network of sports and professional partners. The Court held that her conduct prejudiced Warwick Wealth’s protectable interest of its networks. This also includes any confidential information she removed from Warwick Wealth about the networks, such as contact persons, relationships and arrangements Warwick Wealth may have with the network partners.

Warwick Wealth’s legal counsel, Sean Snyman, notes that, “Anderson as employee of Warwick Wealth, is prohibited from exploiting that relationship for her own purposes or for that of a competitor.”

Snyman adds, “The Lifestyle and Professional Networks of Warwick Wealth has thus been confirmed to be part of Warwick Wealth’s legitimate protectable interest, something that is protected by its restraint of trade with employees.”

CDH also concluded that a restraint period of three years was not unduly long and employers may hold employees accountable for their conduct (and protect their proprietary rights) for an extended period of time.

Warwick Wealth and the Spirit Invest were pleased to receive this clear and enforceable judgment from the courts, as it protects Spirit Invest and all employees within its South African subsidiaries, particularly from any ex-employee who wishes to undermine its long-standing relationships and hard-earned proprietary interests.