Recent Decision on Springboard Relief


“The High Court has recently provided some useful guidance on team moves and Springboard relief in the case of QBE Management Services (UK) Ltd v Dymoke and others [2012] EWHC 80 (QB).

Three employees of QBE planned not only to set up a venture in direct competition with QBE but also take QBE’s staff, books, clients and data. The employees resigned and whilst on garden leave (and crucially still employed by QBE) they proceeded to use their seniority to solicit QBE’s employees and customers, misuse QBE’s materials and confidential information and failed to disclose any of these activities to QBE’s management. This helped them secure financial backing for their new venture. This, therefore, was a breach of fiduciary duty.

QBE was granted a Springboard injunction for 12 months from the date of the employees’ resignations. Springboard relief is an equitable remedy which essentially imposes a restraint of trade covenant on a defendant in the absence of an express restraint of trade provision; for example in this case, a non-compete clause. This remedy is used to stop defendants benefiting from the unfai advantage they have gained as a resulted of breaching a duty. Here, the springboard injunction remedied the head start on their new venture that the employees had unlawfully gained.

It is noteworthy that Springboard relief was granted instead of interim relief as a final remedy when QBE actually applied for interim relief in the first instance.”

Cara Hughes, Paralegal, Just Employment Solicitors


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