Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

This recent news report from the Evening Standard shows how potentially dangerous and costly it can possibly be to breach your contract of employment. The Standard reports that John Bruce – one of the UK’s top “model bookers” – has been successfully sued for breach of contract by his former employer (Premier Models Management) after he poached models from his employer, breached confidentiality, and ran up tens of thousands of pounds of bogus expense claims.

Whilst working for Premier Models Management (“Premier Models”) Mr Bruce started a competing model agency with a friend of his, Mr Paolo Ribeiro, which was named “Paolo Ribeiro Management” (“PRM”). Mr Bruce had a seat on the board of directors and was a 50% shareholder in the company. He used existing contacts that he had for models which he had been privy to due to his work with Premier Models and booked those models for jobs with PRM. This led to a loss of work (and a consequent loss of profits) for Premier Models. Mr Owen (co-founder of Premier Models) discovered that Mr Bruce had been fraudulently claiming expenses and subsequently also discovered that he had using Premier Models’ confidential information to compete with them. Proceedings were therefore issued in the High Court against Mr Bruce for breach of his contract of employment and Premier Models were successful in their claim for breach of contract and claim for breach of confidentiality

What restrictions would the Defendant have been subject to?

The Defendant would have been subject to express and implied terms under his contract of employment which would have restrained his ability to act in certain ways. There would certainly have been an implied duty of “fidelity” (loyalty) to his employer – which he would have breached by acting in the manner that he did. Further, he would probably have had other express terms in his contract of employment which sought to restrain his behaviour in the interests of his employer, such as:

  • An express duty to maintain confidentiality
  • Restrictive covenants – essentially a promise not to act in particular ways after he left employment. These would have restrained (in most cases) the Defendant’s ability to (for example) poach former employees, clients etc. of his employer for  a restricted period of time after he left employment

How did the Defendant breach those restrictions?

The Defendant was still in employment at the time that he breached the restrictions so he would have breached both express and implied terms in his contract of employment. The implied term that he would have breached was the duty of fidelity and the express term that he would have breached was the duty to maintain his employer’s confidentiality.

What are the consequences of breaching your contract of employment?

If there is a successful claim for breach of contract made then the following remedies may be applicable, among others (which of them actually apply depends on the circumstances):

  • An injunction (if damages aren’t sufficient)
  • Damages for any losses sustained by your employer
  • An account for any profits that you’ve gained as a result of the breach

What lessons does this contain for employees?

Employees should be particularly careful – both whilst the contract of employment exists and after termination – not to take actions which they may think constitutes a breach of contract. Employees should get legal advice on the effect of post-termination restrictive covenants on their future career. If your actions breach the terms of your contract (by, say, setting up in competition) then you may receive an unwelcome letter on your doormat from your (previous) employer.

logo_website

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

Share →

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

4.78 Average

143 Reviews

Liz P

An excellent professional service was provided by Chris Hadrill and Mel Chin. Efficient and trustworthy - would highly recommend this company.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors were great. They were able to advice me quickly and efficiently! I would recommend them, as a good solicitors to use.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Extremely efficient. Mel made a difficult situation bearable and gave good clear guidance thoughout.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Thanks Chris and Sacha I was reassured throughout the process and a happy outcome

Posted 3 weeks ago

Edward F

Good and clear employment advice

Posted 3 weeks ago

Richard O

Chris at Redmans is my go-to legal expert when it comes to employee-related matters. His depth of knowledge, experience and considered approach to problems and their solutions is highly valuable. I cannot recommend Redmans highly enough.

Posted 1 month ago

Rory Y

They provide me with timely and clear advice!

Posted 1 month ago

Steven C

Redmans handled my settlement with my employer quickly, decisively and to a standard that I was very happy with. I would in similar circumstances contract them again

Posted 1 month ago

Deepthi K

Transparent. Clear communication. Prompt reply’s. Saves lot of time. Very satisfied.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris and Sacha did a fantastic job and negotiated a significant better settlement agreement

Posted 1 month ago

Dino D

I did get a very swift and god service from Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

Stephanie H

Clear, prompt, effective support from Chris which has been very much appreciated. Thank you again.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I would highly recommend Redmans Solicitors, the team were very friendly and my case was dealt with professionally and efficiently. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Shane M

Very professional, welcome advice at a crucial time. Always available and reasonable cost.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

My case was relatively straight-forward. But even so, working with Redmans was easy, quick, professional & clear. Many thanks

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The team were very helpful and answered all my questions regarding my redundancy. Initially I had a call with one of the representatives who escalated my request to a suitable employment solicitor. We arranged a call to discuss the settlement and she helped answer all my questions. We then mainly contacted through email which helped resolve the settlement quickly and convently. Thanks for all the help.

Posted 2 months ago

Djaouida T

You have good communication.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional. A highly recommended company for employment related issues.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Brittany

I was very grateful for Redmans to treat my case with respect and discretion. At the time, I was very new to London and it was meaningful to have someone on my side and win the case for me. Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone who is in need of it.

Posted 10 months ago

Jake L

Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

Posted 1 year ago