The employee had left Churchill Retirement Living Ltd to work for a rival company called McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd.

While working for Churchill, the employee was subject to contractual duties relating to the company’s confidential information and documents. He admitted that when he left Churchill, he had accessed certain confidential documents and taken copies on a memory stick.

The documents included a contact list, information on calculating building costs, and spreadsheets giving details of Churchill’s sites. He also admitted telling his new employer about two sites in which Churchill was interested, but which were not publicly known to be on the market.

The court held that the employee was entitled to contact people he had dealt with in the past while working
for Churchill. However, he was not entitled to take away a detailed list of customers and contact details and use it in his new employment.

Nor was he allowed to reveal confidential information and trade secrets, such as how Churchill calculated its potential profit margins when making an offer for a site.

The employee was under an express contractual obligation to return all documents relating to Churchill’s business and he had breached that obligation.

The court granted an injunction preventing the employee and his new firm from using Churchill’s documents.

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