Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

If you believe there may be a future problem related to breach of contract because of confidentiality issues (or you’re currently being litigated against for breach of confidentiality) then you will obviously want to ascertain what your legal position is and how you can best protect yourself. This post attempts to take employees (or contractors) through the thought process that should be adopted to undertake a preliminary analysis of the issues involved. However, these issues are complex and it is recommended that the parties to potential litigation obtain independent legal advice from a solicitor. Further, it cannot be emphasised enough that every matter that involves breach of contract is particular to its own facts. It is therefore not possible to offer blanket advice on contractual matters.

This post will therefore address the following issues:

  1. Is there a contract?
  2. What are the contractual terms regarding confidentiality?
  3. What are my options?
Is there a contract?

The first issue to consider is that of whether a contract exists between the parties. A contract can be written or unwritten, express or implied. If there isn’t a written contract then it is important to obtain evidence of the parties’ intentions to enter into a contract and what they intended the terms of the contract to be.

What are the contractual terms regarding confidentiality?

The second issue to consider is what the terms of the contract actually are. The terms of the contract can be express or implied. The express terms of the contract are those terms which were orally agreed to or included (or annexed to) the actual written contract. Again, it can be sometimes difficult to determine what the actual terms of the contract actually were – there can often be significant disputes over these issues. However, in the majority of cases there are clear and explicit contractual agreements determining what the rights and obligations of both parties to the contract are – including confidentiality (which is a boilerplate term in most contracts). Terms can also be implied into the contract for services or contract of service between the parties. These terms can be implied by statute, common law or custom (amongst others). Common implied terms include the duty of mutual trust and confidence, the duty to keep your employer’s trade secrets confidential, and the duty of fidelity to your employer.

A breach of confidence (by, for example, leaking secrets to a competitor) would be a breach of (normally) the express term(s) of confidentiality included within contracts and a breach of a number of implied terms. However, although leaking the information would be a technical breach of contract the other party to the contract would still have to overcome a potentially cumbersome evidential burden to prove causation (or how the competitor came into possession of the information). Further, the other party would also have to demonstrate a tangible loss suffered as a result of the breach of confidentiality – the leaking of the information may have not caused the other party any loss. However, the other party may still be able to obtain an injunction to prevent you from, for example, leaking any further information to the competitor. This may be potentially expensive in itself should you be liable for the costs of an application for interim relief.

What are my options?

If you’re being threatened with (or subjected to) an action for breach of contract (i.e. being sued) then you have, quite bluntly, two potential options:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Negotiate with the other party

Negotiation is always the recommended option. Ignoring a potential problem of this magnitude will always end badly. You can either choose to negotiate or yourself or it may be a prudent time to obtain advice from a solicitor.

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.73 Average

92 Reviews

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors provided a professional and prompt service in dealing with my settlement agreement. They used their experience to negotiate a better deal for which I am grateful for. I highly recommend their services.

Posted 2 days ago

Cheryl R

Very efficient and friendly lawyers. I have used Redmans twice now and Chris Hadrill has been amazing to work with. Would highly recommend Redmans.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

I found Redmans Solicitors to be extremely professional, dealing with my questions and concerns quickly and in detail. I would have no hesitation in recommending Redmans Solicitors to anyone.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

I requested Redmans services on a redundancy case. Both Chris and Rana were great, thoughtful, very professional and responded quickly. They were very clear throughout the entire process, regarding the process and my options and I couldn't feel I had better legal advice for my case. Overall excellent service and I would certainly recommend and use their services again.

Posted 6 days ago

Anonymous

Responsive, patient, thorough and personable - an excellent service.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

The team at Redmans, Chris Hadrill and Sacha Barrett were always very helpful and had expert knowledge to assist me during my employment law matter, I would not hesitate to recommend them to all!

Posted 1 week ago

Arun T

Chris was punctual, attentive and accurate. He answered my questions with clarity and avoided dubiosity. I would recommend him to anyone seeking legal advice within his remit.

Posted 1 week ago

Yulian Z

Great service

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Excellent, professional service and a speedy resolution. Many thanks

Posted 1 week ago

Taral P

Sacha and Chris were both very helpful in closing out my matter. Sacha was very clear in helping me understanding the documents I needed reviewing, providing a professional service throughout.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Really pleased with the swift and professional service from Redmans. They provided very clear advice and helped conclude my matter with the minimum of stress or delay.

Posted 1 week ago

Matthew L

Redmans were very quick to respond to my initial enquiry, and provided me with a very effective and efficient service, generating a most satisfactory outcome. I would definitely use them again if the need arose.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

First rate service. Warm and friendly whilst exceptionally efficient at the same time. I would highly recommend them.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Professional and helpful. Thorough and supportive.

Posted 1 week ago

Richard A

Excellent service, prompt replies, great advice

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Very professional services

Posted 1 week ago

Margaret

Redmans Solicitors took a lot of the worry away and were very thoughtful and meticulous in their dealings with my case , thank you very mush , great service and a great job

Posted 1 month ago

Mark B

Prompt efficient service. Hourly, and part thereof, billing got a bit stressful at times - as opposed to flat fee - made me think twice about sending an email or making a quick call when I had a query because it would have eaten up minutes from my budget. But happy with the legal service I received overall and would recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill has provided a truly wonderful service and was willing to lend his support and expertise at a time when other solicitors, only wanted to discuss their fees! A clear thinking and down to earth professional, Chris can be trusted to listen carefully to your matter, cut through the fog, and advise you on the best (and most realistic) way forward, saving you time, money and heartache. It will be helpful if you first get your ducks in a row in terms of documents / evidence etc. and then contact Chris, (that’s what we did) as this will help your matter to be dealt with faster. The more organised and together you are the more successful you will be. You'll be fine with Chris, I highly recommend him. Good luck!

Posted 1 month ago

Richard v

Excellent Service

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very happy from service received. Highly recommend

Posted 2 months ago