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Employment Litigation

Our market-leading team has decades of experience in advising companies, LLPs, partnerships and senior executives in pursuing and defending complex and high value employment claims in the Employment Tribunal, High Court, appeal courts, and in arbitration. We offer a results-oriented and rapid-response service to businesses dealing with competitive threats.

Our employment litigation group is led by partners Toni Lorenzo and Michael Anderson who are widely recognised as leaders in the field of disputes involving unlawful competition, team moves, the protection of confidential information and post-termination restrictive covenants.  The team is experienced in working on high profile cases carrying reputational risk, many of which are resolved before reaching a public hearing. 

Employee competition

When competitive disputes arise, we take a robust and pragmatic approach.  We can advise businesses on the best strategy to minimise the threat of executives leaving to compete (individually or in a team), including taking urgent court action where necessary.  We also advise individuals considering competition, as well as their new employers, in strategies for minimising the risk of defending litigation.  Our work covers:

  • advising executives on strategies before joining a competitor and businesses on contentious hiring;
  • obtaining, resisting or enforcing various types of injunctions, including acting in the leading reported case on springboard injunctions;
  • advising on notice periods and garden leave;
  • claims involving breaches of restrictive covenants and fiduciary duties;
  • advising individuals and businesses (including recruitment agencies involved in placing candidates) on team moves; and
  • claims involving the protection of confidential information and trade secrets.

Contractual disputes

We also work with employers, employees, partnerships and members to negotiate exit packages and deal with any disputes that arise on termination.  We have extensive experience in bringing and defending bonus and other contract claims in the Employment Tribunal, High Court and in arbitration.  These disputes regularly involve related issues around leaver provisions, constructive dismissal, wrongful dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination.

Recent reported cases

  • Alesco Risk Management and others v Bishopsgate and others [2019] EWHC 2839 (QB)successfully defending a number of insurance brokerage firms in a high-profile case involving an alleged team move and claims of conspiracy. The Defendants were awarded £3.1 million in costs. You can read the full judgment here.
  • Chess Limited & Anor v Henderson [2019] 7 WLUK 69 – obtaining an interim High Court injunction in favour of an ICT solutions technology company against former employees to protect confidential information and preserve evidence pending trial
  • Forse and others v Secarma Ltd and others [2019] EWCA Civ 215 – acting for a cybersecurity technology company in the Court of Appeal in resisting a challenge to the appropriateness of a High Court springboard injunction (now the leading case on springboard injunctions)
  • Wass v Boots and others (2018) – acting in a claim for declaratory relief against a high street retailer in relation to the enforceability of restrictive covenants
  • DDB UK v Lovell and another (2018) – acting for an advertising agency to enforce restrictive covenants against a departing employee setting up in competition
  • Alvarez & Marsal v FTI Consulting (2018) – acting for a professional services consultancy firm seeking declaratory relief in relation to a competitor’s restrictive covenants
  • AstraZeneca v Miels (2017) – acting for a large pharmaceutical company in respect of its enforcement of garden leave provisions against the leader of its European business seeking to join a competitor

Related items

Jurisdiction Challenges

29 October 2021

Where a claim is litigated can be very important. This inbrief provides you with a guide on how to challenge the jurisdiction of the English courts if a claim is started here. We also highlight the steps that can be taken in England if a claim is commenced elsewhere, even though you believe it should be litigated or arbitrated in England.

Enforcing arbitral awards in England & Wales

29 October 2021

Where a party has obtained a favourable arbitration award in a jurisdiction other than England and Wales and the respondent to those arbitration proceedings has assets in this jurisdiction, the successful party may wish to enforce the arbitration award here. This guide will consider the steps that the successful party must take in order to be able to do so.

Employment Appeal Tribunal confirms narrow scope of “special circumstances” defence for not consulting on collective redundancies

28 October 2021

In a case arising from the sudden collapse of the construction company Carillion, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed the narrow scope of the “special circumstances” defence that may be available if an employer has failed properly to consult on collective redundancies. Special circumstances must involve something “out of the ordinary” or “uncommon”, and a gradual financial decline leading to insolvency is unlikely to meet this test.

“A net from which there is no escape”: takeaways from recent cases on dishonesty and conspiracy

11 October 2021

The case of Lakatamia Shipping Co Limited v Nobu Su is one of a number of recent judgments to grapple with questions of honesty and credibility.

Smart phone

My supplier claims we made a deal over the phone but I disagree. Who’s right? Fraser McKeating writes for The Times

09 August 2021

One of my suppliers says we reached a deal but I don’t think we did. It was all done over the phone so I don’t have paper records. What can I do?

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Lewis Silkin successful in Deliveroo Court of Appeal rider status challenge

24 June 2021

By a unanimous 3-0 verdict, the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court’s dismissal of a judicial review of a finding by the Central Arbitration Committee that Deliveroo riders are not “workers”. The Court ruled that the riders are not in an “employment relationship” for the purposes of European law.

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