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Open is granted injunction to protect franchisees

Zurich and Openwork have won their application for an interim injunction against rival Home of Choice, preventing it from recruiting Openwork franchisees until the case is heard.

The hearing in the High Court on June 28 was based on a number of allegations including that the defendants were acting in breach of restrictive covenants.

Home of Choice has agreed to adhere to the terms of the injunction until the trial later in the autumn. But it says the court accepted its argument that Openwork’s contracts allow advisers to run a mortgage business as a parallel business to their franchise and can therefore choose to deal with any company including Home of Choice.

Openwork chief executive Stephen Leaman says: “We are pleased to note the defendants are prepared to remain within the terms of their legal obligations until the matter can be determined fully by the court.”

Home of Choice chief executive Keith Baldwin says: “We cannot understand why Openwork wants to be distracted by legal proceedings. The challenge is to be best, not try to stifle competition or tie people in against their will.”

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