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Client accused by his employer of soliciting a colleague in breach of contract

28 April 2010

We acted for an individual who resigned from his employer to go to a new company and was accused by his employer of soliciting a colleague in breach of contract. The employer argued that our client was in breach of his fiduciary duties (e.g. a duty of no conflict and a duty not to profit from his position) and duty of fidelity by allegedly encouraging his colleague to leave the employer and go with him to the new company. The employer had to rely on these duties rather than an express post termination restrictive covenant because at the time of the alleged act his employment had not yet terminated. We argued that our client did not owe any fiduciary duties, which is a difficult legal area, and had not acted in breach of any duties in any event. One key issue was, even if he had been in breach, the employer could not prove that it had suffered any loss. This was the key element which prevented the employer from issuing proceedings and eventually the matter was settled.