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Memory Sticks And Confidentiality Rights Don’t Mix

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

Short of searching members of staff, there would appear to be little an employer can do to prevent memory sticks being used for wholesale breaches of confidentiality. However, one company at least had the satisfaction of winning over £290,000 in damages from a former senior salesman who violated its trust.

The salesman had worked for the company for almost 14 years and was responsible for a portfolio of clients worth £3 million annually. However, following his resignation, it was discovered that he had downloaded swathes of highly confidential customer information and used it for his own commercial benefit. Following his departure, he had also breached non-solicitation clauses in his contract.

In ordering him to pay the company £290,099, the High Court found his evidence unreliable and evasive. He had deliberately and dishonestly sought to cover his tracks and his sworn statements to the Court were demonstrably untrue. He was also ordered to pay almost £70,000 in legal costs.

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