Agency protects confidential information from competitors
A recruitment agency has been granted an injunction to prevent a former employee working for rival companies while on garden leave and to ensure its confidential information isn’t misused.
The case involved Coyle Personnel, which supplied nurses to NHS trusts and private hospitals. It employed a senior recruitment consultant, Mr Hackett, for four years. During this time, he had access to confidential information, including the agency’s database of temporary workers and clients.
After he resigned he was placed on garden leave during which time, under the terms of his contract, he was not allowed to work for other businesses without prior written consent.
The agency alleged that he began working for two other companies, who were its competitors and had sought to transfer business away from it.
Mr Hackett agreed to be bound by the restrictions in his contract, but the agency wanted to ensure that the obligations of confidentiality and contractual post-termination restraints were enforced. The competitor firms argued that an injunction would be unnecessary and disproportionate.
The court found in favour of the agency. It held that there was a prima facie case of breach of confidence and potential breaches of contract.
Although Mr Hackett had agreed to abide by the contractual provisions, it was desirable to clarify the position of the two rival companies.
An injunction was the minimum required to protect the agency’s position until the issues could be decided at trial.
Please contact Sarah Liddiard or Jackie Webb if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of court orders and protecting your business.