| Commentary

(2) Realistic interpretation

| Commentary

(2)     Realistic interpretation

The covenant must be construed realistically. It may be possible to invent some unlikely chain of events which would create circumstances in which the covenant would operate unreasonably. The court will tend to discount such remote possibilities. A milk roundsman promised not to solicit any customer he had served within the last six months. It was objected that he might move to the other end of the country, and one of his former customers might perchance move to the same area. It would be unreasonable to stop the milkman taking advantage of the happy coincidence. The court was unmoved by the objection. It was unlikely to happen, and had not in fact happened (Home Counties Dairies Ltd v Skilton [1970] 1 All ER 1227, CA).

Similarly, under the 'validation' principle (ut res magis valeat quam pereat, ie a court should try to validate an agreement,

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