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Fiduciary Duties

Anton Piller Order upheld against ex-employee suspected of taking confidential information, company property

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

In Peters & Co Limited v Ward, 2015 ABCA 6, the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's decision to issue an Anton Piller Order to an investment firm that had presented evidence that an employee, who had resigned to work for a competitor, had removed confidential company information and property.

The Anton Piller Order permitted the search and seizure of the ex-employee's residences, vehicles, computer and other digital storage devices, and an office building, for the property.

Director of company breached fiduciary duties in approving own excessive compensation package

In Unique Broadband Systems, Inc. (Re), 2014 ONCA 538, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a director of a company breached his fiduciary duties in approving an excessive compensation package for himself and the other directors and that his actions were not protected by the business judgment rule.  

Advertisement in trade magazine, launching of website establish prima facie breach of non-solicit agreement

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Insurance

In Hub International (Richmond Auto Mall) Ltd. v. Mendham, 2011 BCSC 1780, the BC Supreme Court found that a former employee's advertisement for his new marine insurance company in a trade magazine and the launching of his new company's website established a prima facie breach of the non-solicit agreement he had entered into with his former employer, Hub International.

Specifically, the court stated:  read more »

Employer receives $11.4 million in damages for former employees wrongful resignation, breach of fiduciary duties

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

I'm extremely slow off the mark on reporting on this case, given that it was issued by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in September 2009.

However, the decision in GasTOPS Ltd. v. Forsyth, 2009 CanLII 66153 (ON S.C.) - which has been called "a treatise of judicial guidance on both wrongful resignation and who is a fiduciary, and the damages which from both" by one legal commentator - demands inclusion in the blog, even at this late date.

Briefly put, it saw an employer who sued four of its former employees for wrongful resignation and breach of fiduciary duties receive a damages award of $11.4 million. The employees had departed after giving only two weeks notice to set up/work in their own company, which competed with GasTOPS.

The judgment is apparently currently the subject of both an appeal and across-appeal.  read more »