Business model unlawful

Posted: 5th December 2012

A member of a modelling agency’s staff has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in damages after involving himself in the establishment of a rival business in breach of restrictive covenants in his employment contract. The employee must also repay more than £20,000 that he fraudulently claimed in travel expenses.

RCJThe High Court accepted that, during the final nine months that he worked for the agency prior to his dismissal in July 2012, much of the employee’s attention had been devoted to helping his relationship partner set up a competing business. He had also misused the agency’s confidential information to its disadvantage and had diverted models away from his employer and towards the new venture. There was, the court found, no evidence to support the employee’s submission that inflation of travel expenses was ‘common practice’ at the agency.

The court issued an injunction against the employee forbidding him from soliciting or engaging any of the agency’s present staff or endeavouring to canvas or entice away any model that has been represented by the agency since August 1 2011. He was also banned from disclosing or making use of any confidential information emanating from the agency. As well as having to repay the fraudulently claimed travel expenses, he must pay damages in respect of modelling jobs he booked which would otherwise have benefited his former employer.