Possible legal action against the employees or their new employer

In many jurisdictions, you may be able to take legal action against employees or the new employer if they have used unlawful means when recruiting from your staff. The nature of the claim and the potential remedy will depend on the facts and the individual jurisdiction.

Possible claims

In certain jurisdictions claims against the new employer may include:

  • claims for inducing an employee to breach his or her employment contract, eg by breaching a non-compete clause
  • claims for enticing a team away from a competitor where the move would cause serious disruption to the competitor’s business
  • breach of trade or competition rules relating to taking over an entire team from a competitor
Claims against the employee may include: breach of contract, eg for breach of restrictive covenants or breach of duties of confidentiality owed to the employer.

Possible remedies

Depending on the jurisdiction, remedies can include:

  • damages
  • a final or interim injunction preventing the new employer from employing the team
The evidence required to bring a claim will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, in some jurisdictions, such as Russia, there are no regulations dealing with team moves.

In certain jurisdictions, such as Germany, employees who disclose business secrets to a competitor may commit a criminal offence.

Effective restrictive covenants in employment contracts and non-solicitation provisions in relevant commercial contracts can be helpful, in many jurisdictions, protecting an employer in the event of a team move to a competitor.