Pat, having recently graduated with a B.Bus, obtains employment with the management consultancy firm Unlimited Business Solutions (UBS) as a trainee management advisor. The firm operates principally within the Auckland region although a number of its clients have branches throughout New Zealand. On being offered the position. Pat was given a copy of the individual employment agreement to take away and, if necessary, seek independent advice about it. Pat is very pleased to be offered the job and does not really read the agreement very carefully at all. The following day Pat accepted the offer of employment with UBS. The agreement contains the following clause:
5.1 In the event the employee terminates their relationship with UBS in accordance with this agreement they agree that they will not engage in management or marketing consultancy or the provision of financial or accounting advice whether as an employee or as a principal anywhere in New Zealand for a period of not less than 5 years from the date at which their relationship with UBS is terminated.
Pat, having been offered a very attractive position with an accounting firm in Palmerston North, is concerned that clause 5.1. would prevent his acceptance of the offer.