Breach of confidence

first_imgSummary judgment – Entitlement to summary judgment – Duty of servant Philip Coppel QC and Christopher Lingard (instructed by Follett Stock) for the claimant; George Hamer (instructed by Jirehouse Capital) for the defendants. Devon and Cornwall Autistic Community Trust (t/a Spectrum) v Pyrah and others: PCC (Mr Recorder Douglas Campbell): 24 September 2012center_img The claimant provided care and accommodation to people with autism in Cornwall. The first three defendants (the personal defendants) left the employ of the claimant on various dates in April to May 2009. The personal defendants then joined the fourth defendant company (the company), which competed directly with the claimant in terms of geographical area, service users and customers. The claimant brought an instant action alleging breach of confidence. The defendants submitted that the claimant’s pleaded case lacked particularity and the claimant admitted that it was unable to give further particulars of the personal defendants’ breaches until after disclosure. Further, there was a lack of documentation about some of the complaints made against the defendants. The defendants sought an order for summary judgment on the claim pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 24.2 or that the claim be struck out, pursuant to CPR 3.4(2)(b), for failing to comply with orders made at previous hearings (the orders). The issues for determination were: (i) whether summary judgment ought to be granted; and (ii) whether the pleaded case lacked particularity such that it ought to be struck out. The application would be allowed. (1) It was settled law that, in respect of summary judgment applications, the court had to consider whether the claimant had a realistic as opposed to a fanciful prospect of success (see [26] of the judgment). On the facts, the instant case had no realistic prospect of success. Accordingly, summary judgment ought to be given for the defendants under CPR 24.2 (see [71], [79] of the judgment). (2) It was settled law that the rules relating to the particularity of pleadings applied to breach of confidence actions as they applied to all other proceedings. But it was well recognised that breach of confidence actions could be used to oppress and harass competitors and ex-employees. The courts were therefore careful to ensure that the plaintiff gave full and proper particulars of all the confidential information on which he intended to rely in the proceedings. If the plaintiff failed to do that, the court might infer that the purpose of the litigation was harassment rather than the protection of the plaintiff’s rights and might strike out the action as an abuse of process (see [27] of the judgment). Applying settled law and on the facts, the instant case should be struck out under CPR 3.4(2)(b) as an abuse. It was far from clear what confidential information was actually being relied upon. The nature of the claim had changed from pleading to pleading. The failure to specify the basic component of the claim was fundamental. The court had come to the firm conclusion that all of the allegations relating to the misuse were no more than unsupported speculation. Further, the court inferred that the purpose of the litigation was harassment of competitors and ex-employees, rather than the protection of the claimant’s rights (see [28], [72], [73], [79] of the judgment). The defendants’ application would be granted (see [80] of the judgment).last_img read more

Retention rates high at magic circle firms

first_imgTwo magic circle firms revealed higher autumn retention rates in a week of upbeat City announcements.Slaughter and May is taking on 37 of its 40 trainees (92.5%), up on last year’s figure of 86%. Some 39 trainees put themselves forward, one was rejected and one chose not accept an offer.Linklaters is taking on 49 of 54 trainees qualifying this autumn, a retention rate of 91%. This is significantly higher than last year, when 73% of trainees went on to become newly qualified associates. From the qualifying cohort, four trainees resigned and one was rejected.Richard Hodgson, trainee development partner at Linklaters, said: ‘We are pleased once again to retain a high number of quality lawyers from our September qualifiers. Attracting, developing and retaining the best people is crucial to our success.’Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are yet to report.This season’s high retention rate coincides with a bullish set of financial results. National firm Shoosmiths announced a rise in net profit and profit per equity partner (PEP) last week, despite a ‘challenging’ market. In the financial year 2018/19, net profit grew by 6% to £37.9m and PEP 2% to £441,000. Revenue was £137.6m, a 7% increase.Meanwhile, the listed Gordon Dadds Group reported increases in profits and revenue. For the 12 months to 31 March, Gordon Dadds saw revenue rise 69% to £52.6m and adjusted profit before tax climb 141% to £5.9m. However, the company spent £14.3m on its acquisition of international firm Ince & Co. It now has net borrowings of £2.9m, compared with net cash of £8.4m the previous year.last_img read more

Canada group has serious concerns of IAAF hyperandrogenism rule

first_img(Reuters) – Canada’s athletics federation called yesterday for a rigorous review of a new IAAF hyperandrogenism rule. “Athletics Canada has serious concerns with last week’s announcement from the IAAF regarding hyperandrogenism testing,” the federation said in a statement.The new regulations by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) lay down a series of criteria for athletes with a Difference of Sexual Development (DSD) to be eligible to compete internationally in certain events.They could prevent South African double Olympic champion Caster Semenya from competing in 800m and 1500m races. “In Canada, we encourage the full access for all Canadians to participate and compete in athletics, at every level of our sport free of discrimination,” the federation said. “Athletics Canada believes in the principles of inclusion, respect and health and safety.”The federation said it planned to review the eligibility rule in detail and hold discussions with government officials and other national sports organisations.“We believe this IAAF eligibility ruling requires rigorous review,” it said. The new rule goes into effect in November unless overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).Athletics authorities have struggled to find a solution to the issue that respected the rights of Semenya while also providing what they say is a “level playing field”.Some female rivals had complained that the 27-year-old’s hyperandrogenism gave her an unfair competitive advantage. The condition is characterised by higher than usual levels of testosterone, a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin, which affects endurance. To compete internationally, athletes with a Difference of Sexual Development (DSD) must:* Be recognised at law either as female or as intersex (or equivalent);* Must reduce her blood testosterone level to below five (5) nmol/L for a continuous period of at least six months (e.g., by use of hormonal contraceptives); * Thereafter she must maintain her blood testosterone level below five (5) nmol/L continuously.The rule applies to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m, hurdles races, 800m, 1500m, one mile races and combined events over the same distancesIt effectively gives Semenya a choice of taking medication to restrict her testosterone or move to longer distance events.The IAAF’s previous attempts to regulate the issue fell foul of a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling in 2015 following an appeal on behalf of Indian athlete Dutee Chand, who had been banned from competing because of her testosterone levels. IAAF President Sebastian Coe has previously said nobody was suggesting Semenya had done anything wrong.Athletics South Africa said last week it would study the new regulations and compare them with the CAS recommendations to see if they are compatible and in line.“We will further seek support from the Minister of Sport and Recreation, SASCOC, other expert institutions and relevant organisations or individuals, so that we have a full grasp of this matter and how it should be properly handled,” it said.last_img read more

Wolves 0-1 Huddersfield: Terriers secure Championship play-off place

first_img Izzy Brown scored the crucial goal for David Wagner’s side 1 Izzy Brown hit the only goal of the game as Huddersfield secured their Sky Bet Championship play-off place with a 1-0 win against Wolves at Molineux.On-loan Chelsea striker Brown, who was making his first start since suffering a knee injury against Bristol City last month, struck with his eighth goal of the season from 20 yards in the 31st minute.Huddersfield had gone into the game knowing that a win would secure them a place in the play-offs as they responded in style to losing 4-1 at home to Fulham last time out.Wolves slipped to only their third defeat in 11 matches but again toiled in front of their own fans as they failed to score for the third successive home game.Wolves were forced into a late change when goalkeeper Andy Lonergan was injured in the warm-up and was replaced by Harry Burgoyne.But it was Burgoyne’s opposite number, Danny Ward, who was first into action when he did well to hold on to a near-post header from Dave Edwards in the 10th minute.Huddersfield’s reaction to that let-off was instant and should have led to them taking the lead only for Nahki Wells to blaze over the bar from 14 yards.Wells was then presented with another chance following a cross from former Wolves winger Rajiv van La Parra in the 23rd minute and although this time he managed to get his shot on target it was comfortably dealt with by Burgoyne.Brown then showed Wells the way to goal in stunning style after being fed by Aaron Mooy.Brown let fly from 20 yards and the ball whistled past Burgoyne’s outstretched right hand.Wolves sought a quick response and would have got one but for Ward who again saved a header from Edwards following a Ben Marshall free-kick.Ward and the post then combined to deny Wolves an equaliser eight minutes into the second-half when Andreas Weimann had his shot saved and from the follow-up Edwards saw his effort from an acute angle hit the woodwork.But their hopes of a comeback hopes should have been extinguished in the 69th minute only for substitute Collin Quaner to drill his shot wide after Wolves had failed to clear a Mooy free-kick.Quaner then shot straight at Burgoyne from close range 10 minutes later and had a third effort blocked but Wolves were unable to take advantage of his profligacy in front of goal.last_img read more