Employment pupil barrister Joanna Laxton analyses the case of Law by Design v Saira Ali  EWHC 426 (QB), in which the claimant was successful seeking to restrain the defendant from breaching the terms of her restrictive covenants. The article provides a useful reminder of the principles that apply when determining the enforceability of restrictive covenants.
Joanna (Jo) Laxton is currently a non-practising pupil barrister who has joined 3PB in their Winchester office. Prior to joining us, Jo was a solicitor for 22 years, and specialised in employment law. She is now non-practising having surrendered her place on the Roll with the SRA in order to transfer to the Bar.
During her time as a solicitor, Jo worked extensively in house, developing experience in all areas of employment law, as well as legal services delivery. She held senior positions with Transport for London, Sodexo, Pennon Group and Vodafone. As such she understands well the legal needs of both public and private sector employers.
Jo advised on all aspects of employment law, managing bulk tribunal litigation, discrimination issues, drafting employment contracts and policies, providing support and assistance on large scale redundancy exercises, and extensively advising on TUPE.
As well as specialising in employment law, Jo held senior posts such as General Counsel, Assistant General Counsel and Company Secretary. These roles allowed Jo to develop knowledge and understanding of wider matters such as internal matter management, and regulatory compliance.
She developed experience in handling very sensitive investigations and whistleblowing complaints, supporting enquiries undertaken by multi - disciplinary investigation teams.
Notably, Jo advised extensively on very high-profile collective employee relations, advising on the Golden Formula and associated injunctive proceedings, time off, and all aspects of labour law. She advised extensively on settlements, both individually and as part of a negotiating team resolving industrial disputes at ACAS. She is a practical and pragmatic negotiator.
In addition to advising and managing active matters, Jo provided extensive training on a range of employment matters to HR and ER. She has trained at Board level on Directors Duties and assisted procurement teams in their understanding of the employment and pensions issues which arise in commercial transactions.
Jo has been granted multiple waivers as part of her training because of her experience and qualifications as a solicitor and is very much looking forward to completing her training as a pupil and developing her career as an employment lawyer further.
Outside of work, Jo is a motorsport fan, and keen motorcyclist.
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Jo Laxton was a highly experienced solicitor who has worked in senior legal roles, most recently as Lead Counsel (Employment) at Vodafone and South West Water and Head of Employment and Legal Compliance at Rotork Plc. She is no longer a practising solicitor, having elected to transfer across to the Bar and is currently a non-practising pupil barrister with 3PB.
She already has experience as an advocate, for example successfully representing a major motor company in unfair dismissal proceedings which went to full trial and handling final and interim hearings extensively in sex discrimination/equal pay proceedings (so called 'part time pensions' cases).
The principles that apply when determining the enforceability of restrictive covenants31st Mar 2022
- LLB Law, University of Hertfordshire, 2:1 (Hons)
- LPC, Diploma in Legal Practice, Pass, College of Law
Winner of Cavendish Prize, University of Hertfordshire