15/05/2009 - 13:20

Gray wins court battle against Sirtex

15/05/2009 - 13:20

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The saga between Sirtex Medical and Perth scientist Bruce Gray has taken another turn with the state's Supreme Court finding in favour of the company's former chairman, who is now free to carry on with his business.

The saga between Sirtex Medical and Perth scientist Bruce Gray has taken another turn with the state's Supreme Court finding in favour of the company's former chairman, who is now free to carry on with his business.

Sydney-based Sirtex was seeking an injunction against Dr Gray that would have prevented him from working or having an interest in a similar business.

Sirtex has previously argued that Dr Gray had signed agreements that restrained him from directly or indirectly working in any business which is "similar or competitive with any part of Sirtex's business".

Yesterday, Justice Rene Le Miere found that the restraints on Dr Gray ceased to have an effect because of provisions in the agreement.

"Justice Le Miere found that as a result of the above, in substance Dr Gray was successful inobtaining the relief he sought and ordered Sirtex to pay Dr Gray's costs of the proceedings (including an interlocutory application brought by Sirtex in the proceedings)," Sirtex said.

"Sirtex considers that it was appropriate to defend the proceedings brought by Dr Gray so that the enforceability of the contractual restraints could be determined by the Court."

Dr Gray is also involved in a legal battle with the University of WA, which claims it has rightful ownership of a cancer treatment technology - currently being commercialised by Sirtex .

UWA claims Dr Gray developed the technology during his employment with the university.

 

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

Sirtex has previously made announcements concerning the proceedings commenced by Dr Gray against the company seeking declarations that restraints under his employment contracts and a Subscription and Shareholders Agreement were unenforceable as unreasonable restraints of trade. These proceedings have been described as the 'Dr Gray Proceedings' (see announcements dated 2 November 2007, 11 August 2008, 22 August 2008, 26 August 2008 and 12 December 2008).

On 14 May 2009, Justice Le Miere of the Supreme Court of Western Australia delivered a Judgment in the Dr Gray Proceedings.

Justice Le Miere found in favour of Dr Gray that the restraints under the Subscription and Shareholders Agreement were of no force and effect on the basis that they cease to have an effect because of the provisions of a Supplemental Subscription and Shareholders Deed raised by Dr Gray in an amendment to his claim on the third day of the hearing (see announcement dated 12 December 2008).

Justice Le Miere found that as a result of the above, in substance Dr Gray was successful in obtaining the relief he sought and ordered Sirtex to pay Dr Gray's costs of the proceedings (including an interlocutory application brought by Sirtex in the proceedings).

In light of the reasons for the Judgment, it was not necessary for the Court to make (and the Court did not make) a finding about whether the restraint under the relevant Employment Contract was enforceable up until its expiry on 1 October 2008.

Sirtex considers that it was appropriate to defend the proceedings brought by Dr Gray so that the enforceability of the contractual restraints could be determined by the Court.


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