We are seeing a recurring problem with employees using information obtained by them in the course of their employment, for their own use or that of their next employer.
We have acted on both sides of the spectrum, advising employees of their continuing obligations to previous employers and advising employers of their rights.
The balance is quite fine as a person can usually not be precluded from earning a living while trade secrets that have been developed over time and at expense to a firm are a valuable asset that should be respected. Our law on Restraint of Trade has undergone many reviews by our Courts who tend to examine each case on its own merits.
A case we handled involved three employees getting together and deciding to open in direct competition with their boss. They had access to all customer lists and details, all suppliers and even had knowledge of the financing arrangements that were in place for the business. Because they intended operating from home they could undercut our client’s prices and effectively destroy its business that had been years in the making. One letter threatening Injunction proceedings put an end to the dreams of the trio at minimal cost to our client.
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