Theodore Goddard wins on employment dispute

THE CITY has welcomed a Appeal Court ruling seen as an important test case for the validity of employment contracts.

Peter Cooke, head of Theodore Goddard's employment law department, helped to win the appeal case for investment company Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM).

The Court of Appeal rejected an application by 10 former employees of CSAM to drop injunctions which enforced their employment contracts.

The 10, all employed in the Swiss group's private client division, defected to rival James Capel last summer.

CSAM won injunctions in February which prevented them joining James Capel until their contracts expired.

It also prevented them from poaching clients for a period after their contracts have expired.

Their employment contracts vary in length between six months and a year.

Mr Justice Steel QC, the High Court judge who granted the February injunction, refused the 10 leave to appeal but it was subsequently granted by the Court of Appeal.

The City warmly greeted the the clarification after stockbroker Greig Middleton lost a case in January against nine former staff who joined rival firm Brewin Dolphin.

Theodore Goddard advised CSAM, which was represented in court by Michael Burton QC from Littleton Chambers.

A separate action is being taken by CSAM over bonuses allegedly agreed to be paid by James Capel in relation to any funds transferred from CSAM. A statement of claim, which includes a claim for alleged conspiracy, was served on 29 February this year.