Employment Cases Update

Linklaters LLP & Anor v Mellish [2019] EWHC 177 (QB)

Date published: 06/02/2019

Application for an injunction to restrain an ex-employee from disclosing information obtained from and relating to his employment by the Claimants, which the Claimants said was confidential information, protected by express duties of confidence owed to them by the Defendant, pursuant to his contract of employment. The application was granted.

In June 2018 the Defendant was given six months' notice his contract would be terminated. He received his final termination payment in January 2019 but then expressed dissatisfaction with the termination of his employment. He stated that he intended to "share [his] impressions of the current culture at Linklaters" with particular reference to what he called "the ongoing struggle Linklaters has with women in the workplace". He said that, to that end, he would be giving "interviews" in the first two weeks of February. The Claimants applied for an injunction to restrain him from disclosing confidential information.

The court granted the injunction for a short time. The rights of the third parties involved, and in particular those of the individual complainants, bolstered the case in favour of granting an injunction. The court said: "...internal grievance processes are confidential in nature. Those interviewed as part of such a process are entitled to expect that what they say will be kept confidential. There are strong policy reasons for upholding those legitimate expectations, to encourage genuine complainants to come forward rather than risk having sensitive material of the kind in issue here made public by a third party, against their wishes and (on the evidence) without consultation."

Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii

Employment Claims without a Lawyer 2nd edition published March 2018