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.
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.
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  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  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  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
My supplier claims we made a deal over the phone but I disagree. Who’s right? Fraser McKeating writes for The Times09 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?
Lewis Silkin successful in Deliveroo Court of Appeal rider status challenge24 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.
Court of Appeal rejects challenge to Deliveroo riders’ self-employed status24 June 2021
The Court of Appeal has unanimously and emphatically rejected an appeal, based on novel human rights arguments, that Deliveroo riders were “workers” for the purposes of the UK’s trade union recognition legislation.
Employee competition: top tips for start-up businesses21 May 2021
In this article, we set out our key recommendations for protecting your start-up business against employee competition, from managing the risks arising when you recruit new employees to putting in place the right contracts and responding to competitive threats.
How to respond if an employee is side hustling for a customer: Carla Feakins writes for The Times20 May 2021
Carla Feakins explains how to police employee side-hustles on the Times Enterprise Network.
Protecting your business20 February 2021
Protecting your business from competitive threats is vital. Losing a team or a key employee to a competitor can be extremely damaging. You may lose clients, prospects, and other staff. Your valuable confidential information may be put at risk.