OCR A2 Contract Law Special Studies Paper - Restraint of Trade - Lyne-Pirkis 16 Marker

This is for the 2013 paper only

  • Created by: Majid
  • Created on: 02-01-13 13:42

Restraint of Trade - Lyne-Pirkis 16 Marker

The case involves the ROT clause being policed in an employer/employee contract. The case itself involved a GP being restrained/prevented from engaging in "medical practice". It was held to be unreasonable as the clause was too wide and therefore declared void.

The significance of the case is that it confirms the principle of judges refusing to sever clauses where parties have used imprecise language. The phrase was too wide as the GP couldn't practice as a consultant or conduct any hospital work. This represents judicial unity in this area (precise language). This shows how in the area of employer/employee "the courts do not hesitate to act paternalistically when they believe an important freedom is being curtailed" (S3, L4-5).

The case represents the view of judges who help parties in unequal bargaining strengths, where one through a wide clause would be prevented from earning. This has been evident in previous cases such as Mason v PCI where Lord Moulton refused to sever and uphold the clause as it would "paralyse the earning capacities" of Mason.

The Lords adopted a similar line of reasoning in "Herbet Morris v Saxelby" where again imprecise language was used and the courts refused to sever. This case is significant has contributed to the law as it has cemented precedent in this area by following the principles laid down in earlier cases.

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