One of our clients, a London based professional services firm, discovered that one of its advisers had been using our client’s confidential information and its systems to conduct business for some clients of the business “on the side” for his own gain.
The client contacted Ben Stepney and sought his guidance on the steps to be taken to obtain evidence that showed the extent of what the departing employee had been up to. This enabled the client to move swiftly to dismiss him for gross misconduct.
To complicate matters, the employee concerned was leaving to join a direct competitor and the employee’s wife also worked for our client. Our client was extremely concerned about the risk of confidential information being leaked by the wife to the ex-employee husband. Dismissing an employee to protect the business from the risk of competition is rare, but it can be justified in the right circumstances.
Ben Stepney advised on the level of risk and guided the client on how to address this issue with the ex-employee’s wife. After doing so, she decided to resign, realising that she would not be able to satisfy our client’s concerns about her coming under pressure to pass its information to her husband or doing so inadvertently. As a result the client was confident that its confidential information was protected and it would not be subject to unfair competition from the former employee and his new employer.