27 February 2015

Court refuses to imply term requiring ex-director to return confidential documents and copies after termination of employment

Employers should ensure all contracts of employment include express provisions to require directors and employees to deliver up confidential documents on termination, after the High Court refused to imply such a term into a director's contract.

A director's employment was terminated. His contract of employment stated that information he had acquired while a director was confidential, and should not be used or disclosed to any third parties. However, the contract did not specifically require the director to deliver up confidential documents or copies. The employer argued there was an implied term that he should do so.

The High Court ruled there was no reason for implying such a term into the director's contract.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Employers should ensure that all contracts of employment protect the employer's confidential information, both before and after termination of employment, and require them to deliver up all documents on termination, through the use of express clauses to this effect.

Case ref:

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd v Judge [2014] EWHC 3556