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Novel ruling in ‘retaliatory’ restraint of trade case

Publish date: 09 October 2017
Issue Number: 746
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Workplace

Why is it that so many restraint of trade disputes are heard by the SA courts, while other African countries produce virtually none? Legal writer Carmel Rickard says in her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site that it is a phenomenon she has noticed, but can’t explain. However, in a new decision by the KZN High Court (Durban), a judge has pinpointed an improper reason behind a recent restraint application by a local firm against a former employer. The company offered the ex-staffer a major salary increase if he would go back; when he refused they brought the application against him in ‘retaliation’, said the judge. It’s a must-read judgment for anyone following the growing and often controversial jurisprudence on the subject: Rickard says it is a ‘novel’ decision, resolving the restraint dispute in a way ‘not seen before’.

A Matter of Justice

Laser Junction (Pty) Ltd v Karl Leeson Fick