Thanks to Vanessa Latham of Berrymans Lace Mawer for preparing this case summary.
This is a good example of an employer being granted injunctive relief where its former employees have gone into competition with it, having taken steps to compete with the employer whilst they were still employees.
In Whitmar Publications v Gamage, three employees had worked for the Claimant, a publisher, for a number of years. In January 2013, they resigned from their employment in order to go into competition with their employer. This was an urgent application for injunctive relief, and the court was able only to make a preliminary assessment of the weight of the evidence, but concluded that "there was a strong case" that the Defendants were taking steps to compete against their employer prior to their resignation, and that the steps they took were not just preparatory, but were active steps to compete.
"One of the badges of competitions in cases such as this", said the judge, "is the secrecy with which those who are competing go about their business". In one email, for example, the Defendants emphasised that all traces of their illicit plot should destroyed. On that basis, the Claimant had a "very good chance" of succeeding at trial, and the injunctive relief was granted.