How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask taratill Your Own Question

taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
taratill is online now

I am the owner of a small company. An employee resigned from

Customer Question

I am the owner of a small company. An employee resigned from our company last year and said he was going travelling, we found out today he has copied our company and set up a very similar company to compete against us. We have since discovered that shortly before leaving he emailed all our client data to his personal email account, we assume this was done intentionally to sell to our clients with his new company. We have also been told by other staff that he was witnessed taking a harddrive home over night which contained company data.

In addition t breach of intellectual copyright we believe he has broken our employment contract for two reasons 1) The contract states he can not remove company data or property without our permission. 2) The contract states that he can not set up or work for a company that competes against us for 6 months after leaving the company.

Our desire now is to have his company closed down.

We have 2 questions for you: 1) Is there the possibility that we can take legal action to force him to close his company (if not then what could legal action achieve against him)? 2)Is the theft of company data also a criminal offence, or is it just a breach of contract?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, is the employee now UK based and can you demonstrate that your company has suffered a financial loss as a result of this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes the employee is UK based.


We can demonstrate we have experienced a loss as he has only just started trading. However if he continues trading we will almost certainly suffer a loss. We are therefore keen to shut him down before he continues trading

Expert:  taratill replied 3 years ago.
was his contract subject to any post termination restrictions?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His contract said that for 6 months after leaving the company he cant compete against us in the same industry (the conference industry) and cant work for a competitor.


He left the company 3 months ago and his company hasn't started taking money yet but it has been registered and has started promoting itself


Expert:  taratill replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. You asked whether this is a criminal matter. If he physically removed company property then potentially it could amount to theft, however if you do contact the police they are likely to say that it is a civil matter which is best dealt with in the civil courts.

He is clearly in breach of contract and you have right to take action against him. You cannot forceably close the company however you can take steps to prevent him from taking business away from you in breach of contract.

As he has not yet started operating the correct approach would be to write to him to ask him to return company property, to remind him of his contractual obligations and to ask him to give a written undertaking that he will not do anything in breach of contract. If he gives an undertaking he will be in contempt of court if he then goes on to do so.

If he refuses to do so then you could apply for an injunction to prevent him from breaching his contract. Finally if he does go ahead and you lose you could sue him for loss.

Given the risk to your company I would suggest that you visit a local soilcitor with a litigaton department to ask for support. It is likely that he will take more notice of a letter on solicitor headed paper than if you send it yourself. You would certainly need support if it got to the stages of going to court.

All the best with this.

I would be grateful if you would give a positive rating if I have answered your quesiton. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Ben Jones

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
< Last | Next >
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • taratill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
  • Alice H's Avatar

    Alice H

    Solicitor Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
  • /img/opt/shirt.png tdlawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Lawyer with 9 years experience in employment related issues.

Related Employment Law Questions