In the present case, dated March 28 2012, the former
managing director of a company was sued in summary proceedingsby
his former employer for breach of his non-compete clause. In its
decision, the court ordered the employee to cease any activity with
his new employer.
The employee challenged this decision, arguing that the judge
had no power to order the termination of his employment contract
with his new employer or any measure that would lead to it.
The Cour de cassation ruled that the summary proceedings judge,
who did not expressly order the termination of the new employment
contract, was fully empowered to prohibit the continuation of the
activity performed in breach of the non competition clause in the
prior contract, regardless of whether this would have the result of
leading to the termination of the new employment contract.
This ruling will have a significant impact and might dissuade
employees bound by a non-compete clause from breaching such
specific obligation. In addition to losing the benefit of the
financial compensation which is required under French law to be
paid in conjunction with a non-compete obligation, and to being
compelled to pay damages to their former employer, they could also
be ordered to cease their new activities.
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