Breach of Confidence Claims

A breach of confidence claim is based on the principle that when someone receives information in confidence, or obtains it by another means, it should remain private and not be used or shared.

breach-of-confidence-claims

This area of law is commonly used by companies or individuals to make sure if something “gets out” that is confidential, sensitive or extremely private, it should be not used publically by another party.

Given the traditionally sensitive nature of information that relates to breach of confidence claims, prevention is better than cure. If you become aware of a potential breach, it may be possible to obtain an injunction to prevent a third party disclosing the information as it would cause your business/you harm. If the breach has already occurred and it is too late to obtain an injunction, you could pursue a court claim for compensation or an order that the information is returned and/or destroyed.

Common cases for breach of confidence centre around leaks to the media, people sharing information on social media/internet, former employees taking/sharing confidential information that does not belong to them or family disputes.

To bring a claim for breach of confidence you must establish a number of points, this includes, but is not limited to that the information:

  • Must have the necessary quality of confidence (such as private trade secrets relating to a company)
  • Obtained in such a way that gave rise to a duty of confidence
  • It has been used in an unauthorised way

There are a number of defences that are available in a breach of confidence claim. These include, but are not limited to that the information:

  • Is not confidential
  • There is public interest in disclosing the information

The team at Tenet have extensive experience in dealing with a wide range of situations where breach of confidence has been alleged or incurred.

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