Search

How can we help?

Icon

Ex-employee ordered to delete confidential information stored on personal devices

In an age where employees are easily able to copy, store and upload confidential information, employers are having to become increasingly vigilant to prevent such information ending up in the wrong hands.  This was an issue for the claimants in Arthur J Gallagher Services (UK) Limited and others v Skriptchenko and others. The Claimants were a group of companies providing insurance brokerage services.  Upon leaving one of these companies, Mr Skriptchenko took the Claimants’ client list with him and used it to approach over 300 of the Claimants’ clients after joining a competitor firm.

The Claimants successfully applied for an order to inspect electronic devices and computers belonging to Mr Skriptchenko and his new employer. The Claimants were also granted an order that if any confidential  information relating to the Claimants was found, it was to be destroyed. In the absence of any previous authority on the destruction of confidential material, the High Court provided a detailed explanation as to why an order for destruction was appropriate in this case. The Court was particularly influenced by the “high degree of subterfuge” in this case and the fact that Mr Skriptchenko and his new employer knowingly breached confidentiality. The Court agreed with the Claimants that Mr Skriptchenko and his employer could not be trusted to delete any confidential information themselves and so a third party was appointed to inspect and destruct the material.

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

View profile

+44 118 960 4605

In an age where employees are easily able to copy, store and upload confidential information, employers are having to become increasingly vigilant to prevent such information ending up in the wrong hands.

Although a small victory for employers, Mr Skriptchenko and his employer admitted that they had breached the Claimants’ confidentiality which played a key part in the Court’s willingness to grant an injunction. Employers who suspect but have little evidence to show that an ex-employee has taken confidential information are likely to face greater difficulties. To guard against this risk, employment contracts should clearly set out the employee’s obligations on termination  which employers may want to mirror in a Bring Your Own Device to Work policy.

Employmentbuddy.com 

About this article

Disclaimer

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

View profile

+44 118 960 4605

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

art
  • 12 June 2024
  • Privacy and Data Protection

UK data protection: Important basics

Sometimes, data protection can seem like unhelpful red tape. At other times, it is critical to cultivating a trustworthy reputation.

art
  • 11 June 2024
  • Immigration

UK Immigration Roundup – May to June 2024

As the UK approaches the upcoming general election, immigration remains a focal issue in political discussions. The Conservative party’s recent proposal to cap visas for skilled migrant workers has alarmed various industries who are concerned that a limit to migration could harm vital sectors of the UK economy.

Pub
  • 06 June 2024
  • Employment

Talking Employment Law: What does the new Worker Protection Act 2023 mean for employers?

In this podcast, Lucy Densham Brown and Shauna Jones, members of the employment team, will review the new Worker Protection Act 2023 and provide some guidance on how employers should review their policies in preparation for October.

art
  • 03 June 2024
  • Commercial Real Estate

Sustainability and commercial property: green leases  

Climate change is considered by many the biggest threat we are facing today. With the UK said to have one of the oldest housing/building stocks, the focus on a building’s environmental performance and sustainability has never been more critical.

art
  • 03 June 2024
  • Employment

Using AI technologies in recruitment: is it fair and transparent?

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, where artificial intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly pivotal role in HR and recruitment processes, ensuring responsible and ethical implementation is paramount.

Pub
  • 03 June 2024
  • Employment

Navigating the Labour Party’s New Deal for Working People: Legal implications and opportunities

Join Monica Atwal and Amanda Glover, for this in-person seminar on ‘Navigating the Labour Party’s New Deal for Working People: Legal Implications and Opportunities’ at our Reading office on Thursday, 20th June.