How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Thomas Your Own Question

Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6511
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
28732269
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im a Complementary Practitioner and hire premises to

Resolved Question:

I'm a Complementary Practitioner and hire premises to practice. On 27 July 2012 was asked to sign a rolling Contract with one months notice period. I am being offered potential alternative premises in the same location (less than 5mile radius). 1 clause in the Contract is now causing me concern. "the Practitioner undertakes to procure that (except as otherwise agreed in writing), neither the Practioner nor any party connected to the Practitioner (including a company indirectly or directly owned by the Practitioner), will either directly or indirectly and either solely or jointly with any other person (either on its own account or as the agent of any otherperson) and in any capacity whatsoever for a period of 12 months from termination of these T & cS CARRY ON, ESTABLISH OR HAVE ANY SHARES IN A BUSINESS WHICH COMPETES WITH THE TYPE OF BUSINESS CARRIED ON BY ..... (A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY CENTRE OFFERING A VARIETY OF THERAPIES) AT TERMINATION OF THESE t & Cs within a 5 mile radius. I am self-employed and rent premises, have they the right to stop me moving my practice, which is a sole practice to another centre in the same location? The Contract was signed on 27 July 12 can I terminate, as has been in effect for less than 1 month? Thank You Francesca xxxx

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for your question/n .

For clarity and the avoidance of doubt, could you please respond to the following USING THE SAME NUMBERING:-
1. Are other parts of the building leased to other complementary practitioners or similar trades?
2. Did you simply take a lease from the landlord and NOT purchase a business from him?
3. Is there a fixed term for the lease or is it from month to month only
Kind regards.

Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1. yes


2. Lease only - rolling Contract mothly basis. Have not purchased business.


3. Month by month basis

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Tom - have answered your questions 1-3 and sent - awaiting your response, thank you for your assistance.


Francesca

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi Francesca,

I'm having connectivity issues here.

When did you first occupy the premises please?

Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
First joined September 2007. The new Contract just issued July 2012
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi Francesca,


Thanks for your reply.

It is quite unusual to find a clause of this type in a rolling contract (which I assume is a tenancy at will, even if the agreement itself is called something else), they are usually to be found in employment contracts or in business sale agreements where it is necessary to protect the goodwill of the selling business.

Such clauses are enforceable only to the extent that they protect the legitimate business interest. 12 months is a pretty standard length, but 5 years is a touch on the high side.

To successfully claim against you he would have to demonstrate that his business would suffer if you started a practice within the area. If the business of the landlord is letting property to similar trades then he would have to show that he was deprived of a tenant because you started trading elsewhere or as a result of you trading elsewhere other tenants were not able to pay their rent and he suffered.

This would be fairly tricky to prove. Usually clauses like this are relied upon by someone who has bought a business because they seller has started a business elsewhere and the profit has dropped markedly. In this case he has a further level to prove because it’s not him that would suffer directly, it would be the other tenants in theory and only if they ceased paying him rent but if the other tenants did not suffer then I cannot see how he could be 100% confident in issuing a claim against you because the loss would be either too difficult to prove or too remote.

I would also argue that the clause is not proportionate because you only have the benfit of a rolling contract and not a long fixed term.

The principle is that these clauses are governed by balancing a legitimate business interest with the legal principle that one should not restrain the trade of another. I would say that the balance is tipped in your favour on this one.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6511
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
< Last | Next >
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8364
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/venkoj/2010-02-20_133027_ben_pic.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8364
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg INC's Avatar

    INC

    Solicitor-Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    3850
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/taratill/2010-03-09_111600_phpsik04M_c2AM.jpg Jenny Mackenzie's Avatar

    Jenny Mackenzie

    Satisfied Customers:

    2612
    Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/matthewjones/2009-9-7_20342_picture_007.jpg Matthew J's Avatar

    Matthew J

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    323
    4 y PQE (Partner) - Commercial / Residential Property & Property and Civil litigation experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/touchwoodsden/2013-12-6_91518_MeforJA.64x64.jpg Stuart J's Avatar

    Stuart J

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    5198
    PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/Remus2004/2012-4-22_93111_2bigstockPortraitOfConfidentFemaleL6943985.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    24742
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/Josh2010/2012-4-29_19490_GettyImages80121770B.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6561
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice