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The litigation landscape post pandemic: restrictive covenants and confidentiality

Gateley Legal

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As everything goes on-line and the creation of more flexible working environments provide businesses with the opportunity to recruit people from farther afield so the risk increases of confidential information ending up in the hands of competitors and customers and staff being poached.

Always take steps to protect your business by including properly drafted restrictive covenants and confidentiality clauses in your employees’ contracts of employment.  To be enforceable, restrictions need to be reasonable and go no further than is necessary to protect legitimate business interests, such as client connection.  

Using client information brought to you by ex-employees of your business rival is likely to be a breach of confidence.  Always make enquiries about the nature of information a new employee brings to you and don’t just turn a blind eye.

Look out for employees who resign and download large amounts of data onto other devices or forward emails and documents to personal email addresses.  Or an employee who hands back their work devices having already wiped them clean.  Delay can be a factor against the court granting an interim injunction to stop unlawful behaviour, so it is best to take advice straight away in these kinds of situations.  Also be particularly suspicious in situations involving team moves.

Do you require help investigating the actions of an employee?

We have a lot of experience of investigating what actions employees took in the run up to their departure, working together with forensic computer experts and making urgent applications where appropriate to search for and secure evidence and put a stop to any further damage being caused to your business. To offer the best protection restrictions and confidentiality clauses should be properly drafted and tailored to your business. We can also help with appropriately worded restrictions and confidentiality clauses in your contracts of employment. Contact our expert listed below for more information.

Insights for the litigation landscape post pandemic

Follow our series looking at the predictions we have for the litigation landscape post COVID-19.

Introduction: The litigation landscape post pandemic
Article 1: Restrictive covenants and confidentiality
Article 2: Share purchase agreements and warranty claims
Article 3: Payment of bills and set off
Article 4: Technology disputes and IT contracts 
Article 5: Supply chain issues and force majeure clauses

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.

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