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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47902
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I used to work company (company A) years

Customer Question

Hello,
I used to work for a company (company A) for 16 years and I was approached by a direct competitor (company B) to work for them in a higher position. I worked there for 6 weeks before deciding that the job wasn't suitable for me so I resigned and joined my previous employers.
In the period of me leaving and joining my old company (A), which was 3 weeks, I received a letter from a solicitor acting on behalf of my previous employers (company B) stating that I breached my contract on the basis of:
1. In the period after my resignation I tried to solicit customers by visiting them and keeping in contact with them.
2. Disclosing confidential information to my new employers (company A).
They are also accusing me of joining their client's company (B) with the sole intention of obtaining confidential information of their customers and disclosing it to my current employer (company A).
Furthermore they are also requesting ''undertakings'' to be sought, one of which being to provide, by a certain date, an affidavit setting out the following information:
1. Full details of what information I have disclosed
2. Details of all customers I have solicited or endeavoured to entice away
3. Full details of all orders made as a result of such solicitation
They also say that they make the following observations:
1. The undertakings to be reasonable
2. the time provided for my response to be reasonable (2 working days)
3. the litigation is now contemplated
4. They are also writing to my current employer (company A) and if I have divulged any confidential information it is clearly to admit as such asap
5. If my response to this letter is unsatisfactory, they are likely to institute proceedings without any further notice and seek to recover the cost from me
For your information, the truth is that I have not been involved in any such activity that results in these accusations. I have had no contact with any of their customers, I have not disclosed any information to my current employer (company A)
My questions are:
1. Am I obliged to provide the affidavit despite the fact that everything in the aforementioned letter is false?
2. Would a detailed letter of response suffice?
Thank you in advance for your time.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Kind Regards
Steven
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you disclosed anything confidential to them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, thank you for your prompt response.
I have not disclosed anything confidential to anyone.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, since I haven't used this service before, I would appreciate if you could let me know how long I should wait for your response. Thank you in advance.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query. To answer your specific questions: 1. Am I obliged to provide the affidavit despite the fact that everything in the aforementioned letter is false? No you are not. No one can force you to provide one. The company would seek one to gain more information into the allegations and perhaps have some peace of mind that they know what has happened and what they are dealing with but you certainly do not have to give them that information, especially if it does not exist. If they are making allegations and threatening legal action, it is for them to prove that what is claimed is of substance and this is something they have to do themselves, not through an affidavit from you. So you can let them do the hard work and try to find the evidence to take this further, which by the sounds of it does not actually exist. 2. Would a detailed letter of response suffice? Yes I would suggest that without any admissions as to guilt, or otherwise, you simply set the record straight and make it very clear that you have done none of what you have been accused of and that you are confident a court would never agree with them considering there is no evidence. I would not advise you just ignore them but also do not go into lengthy and unnecessary details – get to the point, deny all false allegations, do not admit anything and tell them that any claim is bound to fail due to lack of evidence and that you will vigorously defend any baseless allegations made against you. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, thank you for getting back to me. Whilst I was waiting for your response I drafted my letter of response (please see attached), so would you be able to have a look and advise whether this letter is appropriate? I would very much appreciate it, if you could feedback on it, as I have to send it tomorrow. Look forward to your response.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Good morning, letter seems fine and I will just change the last paragraph slightly, so from 'However, in order to show goodwill', replace it with the following: "I would therefore like to reiterate again that I have honoured and will continue to honour the terms of my previous contract of employment with XXXXX, including clause XXXXX, which you specifically refer to. Furthermore, I would like to clarify that I do not have in my possession any hard copies of documents that contain confidential information or documents derived from confidential information. I am confident that no evidence exists to take the matter to court and doing so would be a fruitless exercise, which of course will be vigorously defended if necessary. I therefore trust that this is the end of the matter and there will be no unnecessary waste of ours and the court’s time." If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, thank you very much for all your support and assistance. You have been most helpful! Your service is very prompt and exceptional!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your kind comments and all the best