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24th July, 2017

Confidential Information – Judge rules as “a warning to others”: Imprisonment for breach of court order


A former employee who breached an injunction has been imprisoned. By way of background, Mr Dadi was employed by the Claimant who was in the business of providing services to the aviation industry. The Claimant had brought proceedings against Mr Dadi (and others) seeking an injunction for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and/or breach of confidence in OCS Group UK Ltd v Dadi & Others [2017] EWHC 1727 (Ch).

An injunction was granted which prohibited Mr Dadi from disclosing confidential information belonging to the Claimant, required him to disclose what confidential information had been shared with third parties, prohibited him from disclosing the existence of the court order with anyone else and imposed obligations to preserve hard copy and electronic documents.

Mr Dadi committed four breaches of the court order before seeking legal advice including informing others about the restrictions and deleting a substantial number of emails from his email account.

Following the receipt of legal advice Mr Dadi took actions to rectify the breaches. He instructed his legal advisor to inform the court and the Claimant of those breaches, was cooperative with the Claimant in trying to retrieve the deleted emails and was apologetic for his conduct.

At the hearing the judge ruled;

“..a short sentence imprisonment of six weeks must be imposed on Mr Dadi to mark the court’s strong disapproval of his conduct and to act as a deterrence both in respect of his further compliance with the orders of the court and as a warning to others who might be tempted to flout the court’s orders in this manner.”

In reaching the sentencing decision the court took into account all of the mitigating factors and the hardship Mr Dadi’s family would experience if he were sent to prison. However, it highlights the importance of complying with court orders and demonstrates the court’s position should an order be breached.

If you are unsure of your duties to your employer, including regarding the duty of confidentiality and fiduciary duties, or if you have an employee who you believe is failing to comply with their duties, please contact our Employment Department for specialist advice.

 



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