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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Our IT sysadmin has resigned and we are in dispute regarding

Customer Question

Our IT sysadmin has resigned and we are in dispute regarding his final invoice. He is refusing to hand over any of our website hosting and goole email passwords and also some equipment effectively holding us to ransom. Is what he is doing illegal?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.

It is a civil matter so it is not illegal what he is doing as illegality means a crime has been committed. No crime is being committed here as it is a civil matter.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is blackmail and extortion not a criminal act? By refusing to hand over the information and equipment (which is unrelated to the disputed invoice) he is causing enormous damage to the company. He has access to all our emails and there is also a privacy issue.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
If he is genuinely owed money, then it will be regarded as a a civil matter, unless your contract with him expressly states that all copyright, Intellectual property, material etc which he creates vests in your company regardless of any dispute with him over what he is owed.

I am assuming he is an independent contractor which is why he is invoicing you.

You may report the matter to the police and see what they say, but I suspect they will not be interested and say it is a civil matter.

You may file a court claim against him for an order against him to release the information etc to you and for the court to decide what he is genuinely owed.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Our contract clearly states that all IP etc vests with the company. The fact that we cannot access our website hosting etc is materially affecting our business - how would we file the Court claim and what would it cost. Perhaps most importantly - how long would it take?



Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
You may apply for an urgent order to the courts.

I would advise that you consult a local solicitor conversant with litigation to assist with up the court process as I am not a litigation expert.

Hope this helps, please leave feedback for the answers to your original question.