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Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:31 am
by Spud man
Good Morning Everyone.

I need a little advice please.

I recently left a company that i was with for a number of years and have started with a new company doing the same line of work. I received a letter from the old company stating that i have breached their contract and they are going to take legal action against me. I did send some info from my work email to my wifes email and it seems that this is the problem. They have told me over the phone that they either want me not to work for 1 year when i have a family to support or they want to see me go bankrupt.

My question is if they go down the making me bankrupt how do i move assets and money before they take everything i own? can i transfer anything to my my and child or is it frowned upon?

I would rather not work for a year but it worries me that my 20 years with them will result in me being left with nothing!

Please advise me if you can,

Again thanks for the help

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:07 pm
by Smouldering Stoat
We can discuss the issues but we don't give advice: it's against the board rules. You need advice from someone who can look at all the paperwork in detail.

They are getting ahead of themselves threatening you with bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is for people who can't or won't pay their debts. They need to prove their case against you first, and then be awarded damages that you don't pay. That's not to say you shouldn't be worried about it, but that you should take these things one step at a time. Don't try to hide your assets, though: if the worst does happen, transactions can be unwound if they've been done with the intention of keeping your assets from your creditors.

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:09 pm
by atticus
Naughty boy!

Irrespective whether there are enforceable post-termination restrictive covenants in your previous employment contract, taking your previous employer's data (customer details, I expect) by e-mailing the information to your wife is unlawful. See e.g. Faccenda Chicken v Fowler.

Find a way of earning a living that is not going to land you with risk of paying large damages and big legal bills.

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:10 pm
by atticus
Stoaty is right about trying to move assets. When you are in a hole, put the spade down.

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:09 pm
by dls
Quite sensily, you do not give out the details. Those details matter, and directly affect the choices you must now make. The big differences can be in your contract, in the nature of your former status, the information removed, and the conflicts between the businesses.

The big thing is there _may_ be things you can do which will avoid making it worse, and possily make things much better. The situation you are actually in may be either better or worse than you describe.

Whatever you do,as Atti says, stop making it worse. Hiding assets merely makes it twice as expensive to lose them.

Get proper advice. Get it quickly. Decide that a long life and a happy one, depends on doing the right thing (in every sense) as soon as possible and getting on with whatever is next with clean heels.

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:00 am
by b1969
atticus wrote:...taking your previous employer's data (customer details, I expect) by e-mailing the information to your wife is unlawful. See e.g. Faccenda Chicken v Fowler.


If it's customer data it's probably a criminal offence under section 55 Data Protection Act 1998. See e.g.

Rebecca Gray has been prosecuted at Warrington Magistrates’ Court for the offence of unlawfully obtaining data. The defendant, who at the time worked at a recruitment agency based in Widnes, emailed the personal data of approximately 100 clients and potential clients to her personal email address as she was leaving to start a new role at a rival recruitment company. Ms Gray used the information in order to contact those individuals in her new job.

Ms Gray pleaded guilty to the offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act, and was fined £200, ordered to pay £214 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
(from ICO website)

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:06 pm
by Spud man
Well thank you for the replies so far,

The information was templates that I had created, so it was not costings or customer lists etc. I thought it was quite a low key unimportant information, but obviously it was enough that has caused problems.

I thought moving assets into my wife name would be ok, but i have never ever been in this position before, so its a slightly harsh learning curve!

They are a big national company so I thought i was just a number, but i do feel extremely popular now! They have a leading law firm involved which has literally made my family solicitor panic about going up against them, he said they are extremely good and would cost me hundreds of thousands in the end! That really fills me with hope.

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:57 pm
by atticus
Those documents, even if created by you, coul well be your ex-employer's property.

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:57 am
by diy
i've been hesitating to comment on this thread, because the situation seems fairly serious and the OP needs professional help. But threats made on the phone and those put in documents might be very different. They can claim their damages, which might be substantial, but they cannot seek to punish you, even though the damages may well empty your pockets.

They will have to prove the case whether it was breach of confidentiality or intellectual property theft. They can't just pluck a number out of the air.

Re: Breach of contract/employer suing me

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:10 am
by atticus
He has also received correspondence from lawyers. His family solicitor appears to be out of his depth.