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Illegal competition costs

January 2009 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Norrbom Vinding Law Firm, member of ius laboris.

More articles by this firm.

01-12-2008 - He poached customers and colleagues to his new business. The aggressive entrepreneur ended up with an order to pay damages to his former employer.

High Court judgment

Annemarie Boddum
amb@norrbomvinding.com

He poached customers and colleagues to his new business. The aggressive entrepreneur ended up with an order to pay damages to his former employer.

My sales manager is very clever and creative. This was the opinion of the sales manager's employer, a business in the telecoms industry. At least until the sales manager went into overdrive at his employer's expense: he gradually turned his back on his employer and began to solicit colleagues and customers for his own business. "You [are] therefore summarily dismissed with immediate effect and without further delay", the employer's lawyer wrote his formerly trusted sales manager, who was also faced with a claim for DKK 300 000 in damages for lost business. In addition, the employer took out an interim injunction to prevent his former sales manager from contacting a number of customers during a 6-month period.

The Court confirmed the injunction, agreeing that the sales manager's behaviour could be prohibited under the Danish Marketing Practices Act and establishing that the employer was entitled to the injunction and had suffered a loss as a result of the sales manager's behaviour. The employer was therefore awarded damages, but less than half the amount claimed as the loss had not been fully substantiated.

Norrbom Vinding notes:

  • that the case is illustrative of the liability to be borne by an employee engaging in harmful competitive behaviour against an employer - although, importantly, the loss must be substantiated by the employer

This information does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such

For more information please visit www.norrbomvinding.com