Dispute Resolution Article
18 March, 2016
Most businesses will hold data. This may be lists of employees or of customers or even more important details such a pricing structures and tender quotes. But is that data adequately protected from third parties?
Many of these businesses recognise the need for well drafted employment contracts which include restrictions on the disclosure of confidential information. But what happens if it falls into the hands of a third party who is not an employee?
The High Court has allowed a multi-national company, TATA Consultancy Services Ltd a final Injunction against a non-employee to deliver-up the confidential information and prevent him from communicating or disclosing it to any third party.
In this case, the non-employee, Mr Sengar, had applied for employment with TATA, but had been rejected, and he remained aggrieved. He wished to bring a claim against TATA in the Employment Tribunal based on discrimination against him, and sought the assistance of an employee of TATA to obtain a list of TATA's employed staff, their roles, e-mail addresses, staff numbers and who they worked for - all of which is sensitive information.
The unnamed employee would have had to access the database by means of entering a unique staff number and password, enabling TATA to show that the information was protected by tight security as they expected it to be kept private and confidential. The unnamed employee had a contract of employment which defined TATA's confidential information. The employee was passing the information to Mr Sengar in breach of confidence, but what about Mr Sengar?
The Court accepted that Mr Sengar should have known that TATA expected the data to remain confidential. The fact that Mr Sengar would not name the employee meant he knew that the employee had acted in breach of their contractual duty to TATA. Mr Sengar also admitted that he knew that the information was not widely available to the public.
TATA argued that it would be catastrophic to their business if the confidential information fell into the hands of a competitor or a head-hunter, and unless they were granted an Injunction it could not be compensated for damages as it would be impossible to monitor and assess financial loss to its business over a period of time.
The Court accepted this and stated that the information amounted to trade secrets and granted a final Injunction.
Injunctions are clearly a useful remedy to protect the data and confidential information of a business, particularly where the business cannot be compensated if the information was misused. The need to act fast and instruct knowledgeable legal advisors is also key to being successful.
Manisha Modasia at Forbes Solicitors specialises in injunctive claims and can be contacted on 01254 222 324.
TATA Consultancy Services Ltd -v- Pranshant Ashok Singh Sengar 
26 Oct 2018
Forbes Solicitors, one of the North West?s leading legal firms, has added to its successful Dispute Resolution…
Forbes Solicitors is commended for its 'deep knowledge'
2018-19 edition Legal 500
Forbes Solicitors is 'always quick to respond' and delivers 'practical advice' in a way that 'is easy to understand'
2017 edition Legal 500
The service I received from Robin Stephens was both good value and efficient
I have engaged Forbes on a number of occasions, I have always thought the staff involved were very professional yet practical in their approach.
Bensons Vending Limited
Always give us helpful, solid advice - thoroughly reliable and easy to deal with.
Dear Robin Thank you so much for coming to our rescue again!!
Just a note of thanks for the work you did reference the Framework challenge. The new tender winners have been announced and we are on 6 of the 7 framework lots which is a great result
We would like very much to offer our thanks and appreciation to Michael Rutter for his negotiations on our behalf.
Derek & Mildred Walmsley
Thank you for what you have done for us, it has been a pleasure working with you - and your advice is always clear, practical and makes lots of sense.
The letter of summary has helped me to compile my defence. Without it, I would have floundered. I am very pleased with the professional service that I have received from Mohassan and Manisha.
I have to say that I've never had a better legal service from anyone and am very grateful for your actions in bringing this to a satisfactory conclusion.
Head of Finance at a Local Authority
Robin and his team have achieved what other legal advisers couldn't! Outstanding debt chased and paid within three weeks! We have used Forbes for years
Legal 500: Robin Stephens is recommended at Forbes
The service was excellent and I would not hesitate to recommend Forbes to friends, knowing they will be well looked after
H & L Property Limited