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Adam Solomon KC and Grahame Anderson obtain springboard relief for their clients

26.02.24

Adam Solomon KC and Grahame Anderson were in action in the High Court last week (judgment on 21 February 2024), in Lonmar and anor v Wordsworth, Butler, Lever and Howden Group Services Limited. They were instructed by Alexandra Collett, Partner at Excello Law.

They were successful in securing hotly contested springboard relief against four defendants who, on Adam and Grahame’s clients’ case, performed an unlawful team move, taking the entirety of a specialist bloodstock insurance business to a competitor (Howden).

Giving judgment, Ellenbogen J restrained the departing employees from working for Howden (or any competitor) until a speedy trial, likely to be held before the end of the summer term. She rejected the Defendants’ submission that, in circumstances where the team move had resulted in the Claimants no longer operating in the bloodstock retail market, they had nothing that could be protected by a springboard relief. The Defendants said that they had given undertakings to comply with some post-termination restrictive covenants, and those undertakings would protect any interest that Lonmar retained in client contracts. Given that Lonmar had sold the existing book of business to a third party, other than that, the Defendants said, Lonmar had no ongoing protectable interest, and therefore should not have springboard relief to prevent the Defendants competing. Lonmar argued that it did have ongoing interests in the business, that the Claimants had been damaged by the Defendants’ conduct and that the Defendants should not be entitled to profit from their misconduct. This is a novel but important point, with the Court coming down firmly on the side of Adam and Grahame’s submissions.

Ellenbogen J was also persuaded to grant a confidentiality injunction with ancillary orders, including Aon-style affidavit orders.

Littleton’s barristers remain at the forefront of business protection litigation. If you would like to know more, or to instruct Adam or Grahame, contact clerks@littletonchambers.co.uk. (Link to written judgment to follow once available.)

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