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Confidential information/trade secrets


We help our clients to respond urgently to situations arising from the loss or misuse of confidential information. We advise about how to preserve and protect confidential information and trade secrets.

Our experience includes disputes arising from confidentiality in product designs, development plans, market strategy, pricing information, internal costs, customer lists and software source code. Confidentiality disputes often arise when where there is a competitive threat, such as the departure of a trusted employee, the loss of a contract or the termination of a collaboration or licensing agreement.  We have deep experience in issues relating to data loss, from data protection to copyright and database rights and employment law.

In order to preserve confidentiality, we regularly advise technology-rich clients about the use of arbitration to govern contracts relating to trade secrets, licences and joint development agreements.

In the context of litigation, we work with clients to prevent further disclosures of sensitive information or to minimise the risk that the litigation is used by a competitor to gain commercial insights.

Our recent experience includes:

  • Defending one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies from a claim that they had misused confidential know-how from a potential collaborator
  • Defending a Chinese SOE from a claim regarding an alleged breach of a contractual undertaking protecting the know how behind a chemical process
  • Acting for an IT company that had engaged in merger discussions with a competitor to recover its business plan and product design documents
  • Defending an IT company in proceedings relating to misuse of a customer list, including defending an injunction for delivery up of the material
  • Acting for an insurance company to recover customer confidential information and to engage with the FCA.

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