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Mitchel v. Reynolds
Court of King’s Bench
24 Eng. Rep. 347 (1711)
Reynolds (defendant) leased a bakery to Mitchel (plaintiff) for five years. As part of the lease, Reynolds agreed not to compete with Mitchel in the baking trade during the lease term and within the town of St. Andrews Holborn. If Reynolds did business as a baker during the lease term and within St. Andrews Holborn, Reynolds would be required to pay Mitchel on a bond for 50 pounds. Mitchel sued Reynolds for payment on the bond, claiming that Reynolds was transacting as a baker in violation of the agreement not to compete. Reynolds argued that the agreement not to compete in the baking trade constituted an unlawful restraint on his trade, and that Mitchel therefore could not enforce the agreement against Reynolds. Mitchel moved to have the court reject Reynolds’s defense.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Parker, C.J.)
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