Do you know what a tort of conspiracy is? 

Tort conspiracy is a situation in which two or more parties have an agreement to carry out unlawful actions or actions that are wrong and dangerous to another person.

Tort of business and contract interference is when A has an existing contract with B and C is aware of it. C persuades or induces A to break the contract with B and results in damage to B.

Do you know that tort of business or contract interference is a tort if the elements are fulfilled: 

1. There must be direct or indirect interference coupled with the use of unlawful means. 

2. The defendant must be shown to have knowledge of the contract.

3. The defendant must be shown to have the intent to interfere.

4. The Plaintiff must show that he has suffered

Question

My former employee has set up his own new company. However, he used my company’s personal information such as the client list in the wrong way and against the law for the benefit of his new company. This matter adversely affects my company’s economy. Can I sue or get compensation?

Answer

Yes you can. You can sue your former employee for the tort of unlawful interference with your business interests. When an individual tries to gain an advantage in business by competing and using unacceptable and unlawful means, this situation is considered a tort. Therefore, you can bring an action against the individual if his action has caused you to suffer loss.

Let’s read the case of WRD v Ong [2010] 8 MLJ 297.

In this case, the Defendant, who was a former employee of the Plaintiff, committed the tort of unlawful interference with the Plaintiff’s business by encouraging and influencing the Plaintiff’s employees to leave the employment of the Plaintiff when the Defendant was working with the Plaintiff.

The Defendant also failed to keep all information obtained in the course of his employment confidential. Besides, the Defendant divulged the Plaintiff’s confidential information to the Plaintiff’s competitor, including after he left the company and misrepresenting to the Plaintiff’s customers with the sole aim of damaging the Plaintiff’s reputation and business.

The Court ordered the Defendant to pay RM2,095,780 as damages with interest at 8% per annum to the Plaintiff. 

If my economic business interests are affected due to the others’ unlawful actions, what are the important elements that I need to prove in order to bring the case to the Court? These are the elements that must be established:

1. The conduct needs to be directed at the economic interests of the other company; 

2. The purpose of the conduct must be to adversely affect the other company; 

3. The conduct must have interfered with the other company’s right to carry out their business without molestation or obstruction; and 

4. The conduct either threatened or caused a breach of contract. 

You don’t know what to do and need legal advice?

Don’t worry! Our lawyers can help solve your problems!

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