Principles for valid restraints of trade

“The principles to be applied in assessing the enforceability of a restraint of trade provision are not controversial. Both parties cited the following statement from the Court of Appeal judgment in Wallis Nominees (Computing) Pty Ltd v Pickett: (2013) 45 VR 657.
1. The judge set out the basic principles governing restraint of trade clauses:
[50] The principles applicable to the enforceability of contracts in restraint of trade are not for the most part in dispute. They are well settled:
(a) a contractual provision in restraint of trade is, prima facie void.
(b) The presumption can, however, be rebutted and the restraint justified by the special circumstances of a particular case, if the restriction is reasonable by reference to the interests of the parties.
(c) The validity of the covenant in a contract is to be judged as at the date of the Employment Agreement.
(d) A stricter view is taken of covenants in restraint of trade in employment contracts than those contained in contracts for the sale of a business.
(e) The onus of proving the special circumstances justifying the restraint is on the person seeking to enforce the covenant.
(f) So far as the parties’ interests are concerned, the restraint must impose no more than adequate protection to a party in whose favour it is imposed. If the court is satisfied that the restraint confers greater protection than can be justified, there is no further issue of reasonableness.
(g) The meaning of the restraint clause may be construed by reference to the factual matrix, documentary context and surrounding circumstances. See also Testel Australia Pty Ltd v KRG Electrics Pty Ltd [2013] SASC 91, [53]; Integrated Group Ltd v Dillon [2009] VSC 361, [32]-[33]; Workplace Access & Safety Pty Ltd v Mackie [2014] WASC 62, [40].”