Topic: Blog

Former Telus Executive Escapes Non-Compete due to “Overzealous Drafting”, but Rebuked for Pursuing Termination Payment while Negotiating New Employment with Competitor

Telus Communications Inc. v. Golberg, 2018 BCSC 1825 A battle between corporate titans Telus Communications and Rogers Media highlights the danger of “overzealous drafting” of restrictive covenants, which enabled a former Telus executive to compete against his former employer. At the same time, the Supreme Court of British Columbia rebukes…
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Employee’s Non-Competition Covenant Attached to Share Purchase Attracts Rigorous Interpretation.

961945 Alberta Ltd (Servicemaster of Edmonton Disaster Restoration) v Meyer, 2018 ABQB 564, 2018 ABQB 564 The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench holds that even where the evidence did not support an imbalance of bargaining power, the more rigorous approach to interpreting restrictive covenants was warranted in respect of a…
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Valuable Employee? Yes. Fiduciary Employee? Not So Much.

June 19, 2018 Topics: Blog, Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Jetco Heavy Duty Lighting v. Fonteyne, 2018 ABQB 345 The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench cautions against conflating a valuable employee with a fiduciary employee, given the onerous obligations placed on fiduciaries. The decision underscores the importance of securing a reasonable restrictive covenant if an employer wishes to protect its…
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The Perils in Drafting Restrictive Covenants and the Importance of Context

Ceridian Dayforce Corporation v. Daniel Wright (2017 ONSC 6763),853947 B.C. Ltd. v. Source Office Furniture & Systems Ltd. (2016 BCSC 2233) A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice refusing to enforce a non-competition clause highlights the many ways in which the drafter of a restrictive covenant can go too…
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Less is More – “Loyalty Incentives” Upheld

Canada’s big five banks and the financial planning industry will benefit by paying close attention to the difference between a “loyalty incentive” and a restraint of trade, as canvassed thoroughly by the Ontario Superior Court in Levinsky v. The Toronto-Dominion Bank, 2013 ONSC 5657. Levinsky, a managing director with TD Securities Inc.,…
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Arguing Ambiguities in Restrictive Covenants – The Pendulum Swings Back to Enforceability

One of the most-used strategies to argue that a non-compete or non-solicit provision is unenforceable is to point to any possible ambiguity in the wording used. In the leading Canadian decision, the Supreme Court of Canada held in J.G. Collins Insurance Agencies Ltd. v. Elsley Estate, 1978 CanLII 7 (SCC), that in order…
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Economic Disincentives to Compete Found to be Restraints of Trade

The B.C. Court of Appeal’ decision last year in Rhebergen v. Creston Veterinary Clinic, 2014 BCCA 97, is both a win and a loss for employers seeking to restrain employees from competing with them post-employment. In both instances, the decision will have long-reaching effects over employer’s strategies to implement effective restraints and the…
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Is Forfeiture of a Bonus for Resigning a Restraint of Trade?

Does the forfeiture of a bonus for leaving an employer constitute a restraint of trade? This question was recently put to the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice in Levinsky v. TD Bank, 2012 ONSC 5110. The Court’s ultimate response may encourage more employers to require forfeiture or repayment of bonuses to incent…
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Failure to Meet Irreparable Harm Test Sinks Both a Non-Solicit and Non-Compete Clause

As predicted earlier in this space, the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision in Edward Jones v. Voldeng, 2012 BCCA 295, is making it very difficult to enforce a non-solicit agreement in B.C. on an interim basis pending trial. In Hub International v. Redcliffe, 2012 BCSC 1280, one of the first decisions to apply Edward Jones,…
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BC Court of Appeal Raises Bar on Injunctions to Enforce Non-Solicit Clauses

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has raised the bar considerably for employers hoping to obtain an injunction to enforce a non-solicit clause pending trial. In Edward Jones v. Voldeng, 2012 BCCA 295, released July 3, 2012, the court held that Edward Jones, a securities firm that sought to enforce a six-month…
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