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F E Smith
F E Smith, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  30 years in General Practice
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I have discovered an employee is quoting as s own company

Customer Question

I have discovered an employee is quoting as his own company against a quote he is doing from our company. He has emailed the client saying he is doing this.
JA: Employment law can be complex. But don't worry -- you're in good hands. The attorneys have a lot of experience with this, and it would be my pleasure to match you with the best fit.
Customer: He has also handed his notice in today. I assume on the assumption he will be getting the job he is quoting for. It is many £10s of thousands
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: NO. I have only just found out
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I am unsure if his contract is signed
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

Clearly there is a conflict of interest here. How long has the employee worked for you? However, what do you want to know about this?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I was wondering if this is breaking the law and if there is any type of legal action we can take against him.He has emailed a hugely inflated quote over to a company that had originally contacted our company, then emailed privately saying he can undercut our quotation. He left a copy of that email in the office.He has also resigned today, I assume on the assumption he will win this quote, which will be for around £100,000.My intention is to resend a quote when he leaves with greatly reduced prices, but if the client was willing to partake in such skulduggery then I don't want to enter into business with them anyway, but I would still like to find out if I can bring a legal action against him, that would carry into a UK court?ThanksRob
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

He may be committing some kind of fraud if he is (dictionary definition) making a “false representation by means of a statement or conduct made knowingly or recklessly in order to gain the material advantage.” Sending over the usually inflated quote and then emailing privately is bordering on fraud. I think it’s unlikely the police would be interested but worth mentioning. A letter from your solicitor saying that you intend to refer this matter to the police as a matter of fraud would not do any harm

What you have here however is a total breakdown of trust between employer and employee and gross misconduct. You would be entitled to terminate his employment without notice but he is still entitled to be given the reason for the dismissal in writing, and to be paid salary to date and accrued holidays. Academic really because he has now left.

There was a case recently where a financial adviser took a list of clients and set up his own business using that list. He was charged with theft and prosecuted and ordered to pay £10,000 compensation. You have a case if you can prove that the employee took something.

There is no intellectual property in the clients name and address, the intellectual property is in the list or material on which that data is held and in the data itself. Rather an odd concept to get your head round.

If you could he took something from you, their there is a restrictive covenant in his employment contract preventing him from working for someone else there in the same field for the period of time, you can apply to court for an injunction to stop him trading in the short term at least. Restrictive covenants in employment contracts are not particularly easy to enforce.

In conclusion, there are things that you can potentially do but it’s not particularly easy.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.

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