Salesman breached fiduciary duty, but court awards nothing

Company was unable to prove it suffered any damage
|Canadian Employment Law Today

An Ontario court has dismissed an insurance salesman's claim of wrongful dismissal, and found he had a fiduciary duty to his former employer that prevented him from soliciting some of their clients at his new job.

Glenn Thomson started working at his father's insurance brokerage in 1990. He was paid a salary until October 1997. After that he was paid commission on accounts he had drummed up himself. Thomson was involved in discussions for a three-way purchase of the company, which Thomson's father ultimately sold to Richard Farmer in 1998. One of the terms of the sale was that Farmer would offer a formal employment contract to Thomson.

This offer, which the father saw and approved of, was made in March 1998. Thomson offered a revised draft which Farmer didn't accept. Tensions between the men increased and Thomson's employment was terminated in August. He immediately found work at another brokerage and began moving clients to his new employer.