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The case of Whitmar Publications v Gamage is a good example of an employer being granted an injunction to prevent employees, who left to set up their own competitive business, from using the confidential information which they had obtained from the company while employed by it. The employees resigned, the company discovered the existence of the new company which they had set up and strongly believed they had taken preparatory steps to compete before their resignation. The application was an urgent one and the High Court granted the injunction without having access to the full amount of evidence against the employees; but nonetheless, on a preliminary assessment of the weight of evidence available to it at the time, concluded that there was a “strong case” that the employees had been taking more than just preparatory steps prior to their resignation but had in fact taken active steps with a view to competing with their employer on leaving.
In granting the application the Judge said “one of the badges of competitions in cases such as this is the secrecy with which those who are competing go about their business”. An example of this was an email from one of the Defendants in which it was emphasised that all traces of their schemes should be destroyed.
This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222
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