oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Restraints of trade - much ado about nothing?

Volume 4, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



In the early 1950 the British actor Sir Lawrence Olivier signed a restraint of trade agreement in favour of the film company for which he had acted in Shakespeare's 'Henry V'. In brief terms, the restraint stipulated that Sir Lawrence would refrain from acting in any film dealing with Shakespeare's dramatic works for a period of one year. This effectively put the actor out of action in his chosen career for a one-year period. He was also paid the sum of approximately 50 000 to sign this restraint agreement. He claimed that this payment was tax-free in that it was a payment of a capital nature for the sterilisation of a capital asset, being his right to earn a living. The Receiver of Revenue contested this, but at the end of the day Sir Lawrence was successful.

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