Former employee used information to lure key customers away

|Canadian Employment Law Today

KJA Consultants Inc. v. Soberman (2002), 17 C.C.E.L. (3d) 261 (O.S.C.)

Soberman had spent his entire career working for KJA and was in a senior management position reporting only to the president when he left the company. The court found that Soberman played a key role in KJA’s business and therefore owed a clear fiduciary duty to his employer.

This fiduciary duty prohibited him from competing with KJA unfairly and from using confidential information regarding KJA’s customers and business practices for his own profit. When Soberman resigned, he was advised by KJA’s solicitors that he was under a duty not to contact any of KJA’s customers for a 12-month period following his last day of employment. The court found this 12-month period for non-solicitation was reasonable because if Soberman had been dismissed without cause, he would have been entitled to reasonable notice in the range of 12 to 16 months.