I currently work for a company that enforced a non-compete agreement at the start of employment and now would like to revise the duration of the non-compete. Otherwise the language of the non compete is exactly the same.

In such case, is there ambiguity which agreement is binding ? Is it always the last signed agreement?

2 Answers 2


In general, a contract must ongoing in order to be varied and can only be varied as provided for in its terms or if consideration is made by both parties for the variation.

If the non-complete contract has a provision in it that allows its term to be varied (unilaterally or by agreement) then the revised term would be binding if done in accordance with it.

If not, then unless you were given consideration for agreeing to an extension (or gave consideration for agreeing to a reduction) then the variation would be unenforceable. Consideration cannot be an existing obligation (so them letting you keep your job is not consideration) but it could be something tied up with the employment contract (for example, if the change occurred in conjunction with a pay rise then (part) of that pay rise could be consideration for the variation).

You can vary a contract without consideration if the variation is executed as a deed.


If there is ambiguity it depends on the facts of the case - one of which is if a new agreement was executed which superceded the old agreement. A party can't unilaterally change an agreement after its been agreed. If you and them both agreed to enter into a new agreement, then that would supersede the old agreement (assuming that your agreement was not coerced).

Of-course, depending on where you live, there might be questions about the enforceability of non-compete agreements - but this is very much dependent on jurisdiction and terms of the agreeement.

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