Winckworth Sherwood

UK 200 2014 position: 81

Confidential information: inspection of ex-employee’s computers

In Warm Zones (WZ) v Sophie Thurley (T) and Alex Buckley (B), T and B were employed by WZ and had access to WZ’s database, containing information about potential customers. Both T and B’s employment contract contained express confidentiality provisions stopping them using or disclosing any confidential information about the organisation during and/or after employment. When their employment ended, T and B joined a competitor of WZ.

T brought an employment tribunal claim against WZ for unfair dismissal. During these proceedings, emails were discovered that suggested that both T and B had disclosed, or were prepared to disclose, details of WZ’s database information to a competitor. WZ applied for an interim injunction based on improper use of the customer database and specifically seeking an order for the inspection and imaging of T and B’s personal computers.

WZ had spent several years and significant resources creating its ‘unique’ database. The database had commercial value as it contained information not in the public domain…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Winckworth Sherwood briefing.

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