High Court grants interim injunction against former employee who threatened to disclose confidential client information

Tom Dane

In UK Mission Enterprise Limited v Peter Lendvai [Unreported], the High Court granted an interim injunction against a former employee who had threatened to disclose confidential client information following his dismissal.

The company provided support to members of the Dubai government and its royal family when they were in the UK. Some employees had access to confidential information regarding the clients. The respondent signed a standard employment contract which prohibited him from using or disclosing confidential information either during or after his employment.

The respondent was later dismissed leading to a dispute. He wrote to the company’s managing director threatening to disclose confidential information about the company’s clients – including publishing photos and recordings on the internet.

The respondent refused to provide undertakings not to carry out his threats. However, by the date of the hearing, the respondent said he had no intention to carry out his threats and if an injunction was granted the respondent was concerned he could be held responsible for actions taken by other aggrieved employees.

The court decided that there was a real risk that the respondent would disclose the information if not restrained. The balance of convenience favoured protecting the company against the risk of disclosure by way of an injunction.

While the respondent feared that he could be committed for contempt if a third party published confidential information regarding the company’s clients whilst the injunction was in place, this was not a risk that prevented the injunction being granted. Committal proceedings would require the court to be satisfied to the criminal standard that the respondent was responsible for the publication. Therefore, taking everything in the round, it was appropriate to grant the injunction.

UK Mission Enterprise Limited v Peter Lendvai [Unreported] (20/12/2017)


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