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Daniel Tatton Brown QC in successful defence of High Court business protection claim

17.12.20

Daniel Tatton Brown QC, instructed by Stephen Moore, Lorna Clark and Layla Ahmadi at Ashfords LLP, successfully defended all claims brought against Continuum (Financial Services) LLP by Quilter Private Client Advisers Limited following a 7 ½ day trial in the High Court.

The claim arose following the departure of a financial advisor (the First Defendant) from Quilter to Continuum, in circumstances where it was alleged that the First Defendant had breached three post termination covenants, express and implied contractual duties and an equitable duty of confidence. The claims against Continuum were unlawful means conspiracy, a claim for 12 months springboard relief, breach of confidence and inducing breach of contract.

Quilter abandoned the claims for springboard relief and unlawful means conspiracy at the start of the trial. The remaining claims against Continuum were dismissed by Calver J (see here). Some but not all of Quilter’s claims against the First Defendant succeeded.

Calver J’s judgment contains a wealth of interesting analysis for business protection lawyers including

  • Observations as to whether serving notice defeats a claim for constructive dismissal at common law;
  • Observations about the content of witness statements (generally, and in the specific context of seeking to justify post termination restrictions);
  • A detailed analysis of why he concluded that the non-competition, non-dealing and non-solicitation covenants in issue in the case were all unenforceable; and
  • An analysis of what client related information available to a financial advisor is “confidential information” .

A forthcoming article considering some of these issues will appear shortly on our website.

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