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Martin Searle Solicitors

Case Study: Helping An Employer Enforce Their Employee’s Post-Termination Restrictions

Summary

How Matthew Grant, caseworker in Eastbourne, helped an employer enforce their employee’s post-termination restrictions.

The situation

GFC, an environmental consultancy, employed Paula as a Graduate Ecologist. The terms of her contract included confidentiality provisions and also post-termination restrictions.

Paula decided to leave and set up her own consultancy.  She informed Nick, the Managing Director, that she wished to leave, saying she was looking for a career change.

Nick had an e-mail policy which enable him to monitor Paula’s e-mails and discovered that she had sent to her private e-mail address a number of highly confidential documents. This included GFC’s client list, its report templates and ecological reports written by Paula.

GFC were anxious to protect their business and turned to Martin Searle Solicitors for help.

What Martin Searle Solicitors did

Matthew Grant advised GFC to suspend Paula on full pay while they carried out an investigation. Paula immediately resigned with immediate effect.

Matthew searched online and discovered that Paula had recently set up her own company, Ecologist Studies Limited.

Matthew advised GFC that they were in a strong position to obtain an injunction against Paula to protect their confidential information. He sent a Letter Before Action to Paula which explained that she was in breach of contract and that GFC intended to take action. The letter invited Paula to enter specific legal promises, undertaking to return confidential information and promising not to deal with or approach GFC’s clients otherwise they would take injunctive action in the High Court. The letter warned that if successful, they would be claiming their costs against her.

The outcome

Paula immediately signed the Undertakings and complied with their terms.

  • She confirmed that she had deleted GFC’s confidential information and undertook not to use it.
  • She offered delivery-up of her laptop, and access to her email accounts, so that GFC and their IT experts could verify that Paula had not misused the confidential information or approached any customers.
  • She agreed not to solicit or deal with any of GFC’s clients for 6 months following her resignation.

GFC were content that Paula had taken the threat of action seriously. They continue to do business with their usual clients safe in the knowledge that none of their confidential information was being used by Paula and she could not approach their clients while they were replacing her.

If you are an employer and need legal advice on contracts, contact our specialist Employment Law team today on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk to find out more.

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