Non-Competition Clauses – Do you have to pay your employer to leave?

Posted on: March 21, 2015

Have you taken a look at your employment contract recently?  If you leave your job, does it keep you from doing working in the same type of job for a competitor or starting a competing business?  If so, how for long and in what area?

Or maybe, rather than keeping you from working for a competitor or starting your own competing business, maybe your contract requires you to pay your employer instead. This is exactly what happened to a newly licensed vet in Creston who entered into a 3 year agreement with a local vet clinic. In the event of termination (by her or the clinic), her contract with the clinic required her to pay the clinic $150K for terminatin within 1 one year, $120K within 2 years and $90K within 3 years. The contract stated the vet agreed to pay the amount given the clinic’s investment in her training and transfer of goodwill in the business to her.   

As often happens in contractual relationships, differences of opinion arose between the vet and the clinic, the vet terminated the agreement and brought court proceedings to have the section of the contract requiring the payment declared unenforceable. The court action proceeded all the way to the BC Court of Appeal.

The BCCA found that while this section was not a traditional non-competition agreement because it did not prohibit the vet from competing with the clinic, it was still a kind of non-competition clause because it effectively provided for no competition without payment.  So, while the section was a restraint in trade, it was found to be reasonable and therefore, enforceable.

Restraint of trade clauses are often found in employment contracts, but not all such clauses will be enforceable.  Whether you are an employer thinking about having your client sign a non-competition agreement or you are an employee looking at joining a business where you are being asked to make a promise to pay like the newly licensed vet, it will be important to seek legal advice.


Authored by Denese Espeut-Post (May 21, 2015)

2015 Summerland Professional Services Award Recipient

Posted on: March 8, 2015


We are very proud to be the recipient of the 2015 Summerland Business Excellence Award for Professional Services.  Thank you for the nomination and all those who voted for us.  We are happy to be a part of the Summerland community and appreciate the warm welcome we have received over the past 5 years.

Summerland Professional Services Excellence Award Nomination

Posted on: January 24, 2015

Avery Law Office is proud to have been nominated for the 77th Summerland Business and Community Excellence Awards Professional Services Excellence Award.  Thank you for the nomination and support.  We are very proud of this nomination and look forward to continuing to serve Summerland.

How is your legal health?

Posted on: January 24, 2015

How is your legal health? 

As in all aspects of medical health, legal health is just as important. Failing to maintain it may result in finically costly and stressful consequences. Below you will read a non-exhaustive list of common legal issues that one should consult a lawyer for. Should any of these issues apply to you or a loved one, feel free to contact Avery Law Office for further assistance.                                 

Business Law

  • Have you been asked to:

  • Act as a consignor or guarantor for another person’s debt?

  • Indemnify another party?

  • Provide financing to a business, providing collateral for a business loan?

  •  Have you been asked to incorporate a business or enter into a partnership?

  • Are you considering starting a business as a sole proprietor or in partnership agreement or shareholders agreement for your business?

  • If you are an artist, writer or musician, do you protect the rights to your work?

  • If you invented something, do you know how to protect it while you promote it or try to get it manufactured?

Wills and Estates Law

  • Do you have a properly drafted Will that accurately reflects your current wishes?

  • Do you have any virtual property or rights that should be added to your will?

  • Do you have a properly drafted current Power of Attorney for Property?

  • Do you have a properly drafted current Power of Attorney for personal care?

  • Has anyone in your family recently passed away?

  • Have you registered to be an organ donor?

Real Property Law

  • Are you thinking of buying, financing or selling real estate?

  • Do you already own a home or other property either alone or with someone?

  • Is your mortgage due to be renewed?

  • Do you have a secure line of credit?

  • Are you thinking of building on some land or renovating an existing building?

  • Do you own or are you considering buying real estate in another country?

  • Are you operating your business out of your home?

  • Are you having any boundary, easement or usage issues with neighbors?

  • Are you renting out part of your home, or renting out another property?

  • Are you a tenant?

  • Do you have title insurance for any title, survey or other covered defects or fraud?

  • Do you know how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of fraud?

Should any of these or other legal issues pertain to you, do not hesitate to contact Avery Law Office for a consultation. If there is no legal assistance required, we will kindly advise you. If there are grounds for examining the matter further, we will clarify so you can make a well-informed decision.