Protecting Business Interests from Defectors is Imperative, New Find the Edge Article Says

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An article, published on Find the Edge earlier today, has warned company owners about the dangers of current employees defecting and using the sensitive knowledge they've gained to set up as a competitor.

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You place a lot of trust in your key people, but what if one joins a competitor or sets up in competition with you?

All company owners need to take steps to protect themselves from employees exploiting their access to sensitive information, a new Find the Edge article has said.

Business law experts, Rob McCreath and Katie Selves, say the effects of an employee leaving an organisation, and then acting on sensitive information they've picked up during their employment, can be devastating.

McCreath said: "You place a lot of trust in your key people. They are the ones responsible for building up relationships with customers, suppliers and other important members of your team. They have access to your plans and prospective business opportunities.

"So what if one of them joins a competitor or sets up in competition with you?

"Could they walk away with your customers or key team members? Could they use their knowledge of your plans against you? In many cases, the answer to these questions is undoubtedly ‘Yes’."

The article describes five ways that business leaders can protect their organisation from this threat and stay within the law while doing so.

These steps include continually updating contracts as individuals progress through the company, closely monitoring who has access to important information, and acting early if necessary to prevent issues and expensive lawsuits from arising.

McCreath said: "If you are given notice of resignation by a key person, consider whether they should be asked to work their notice period, put on garden leave, or paid in lieu of notice.

This will depend partly on how concerned you are about them continuing to have access to key contacts and staff.

"Remind them in writing of their pre and post-termination contractual obligations. The best contracts often act as a deterrent – avoiding the need for any legal action."

The article can be viewed in full here:

Rob McCreath and Katie Selves are experts in business law at Archon Solicitors. More about them can be found here:

Kenny Goodman, founder of Find the Edge said: "Trust plays a key part in business, but it's essential to make sure your employees can't abuse your faith in them.

"Ensuring contracts are watertight now will mean there are no grey areas if you're ever forced to deal with an ex-employee acting improperly."

Find the Edge was launched in February this year, and is a new website where business leaders can share their knowledge and experience.

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Kenny Goodman
Find the Edge
07540 368 439 0161 713 2506
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