It appears that Dyson are intending to sue their former CEO, Max Conze, for leaking closely guarded secrets.
Max was CEO for Dyson and headed the company from 2011 to 2017. He stepped down last month, in what initially appeared an amicable agreement, with Jim Rowan stepping into his shoes. Conze was thanked by Dyson for his “great contribution” over his six year tenure, during which revenue doubled for Dyson.
Conze himself confirmed, as provided through his legal representation Mishcon de Reya, “(d)uring my six years as CEO of Dyson the sales and profits tripled, with the company growing from 2,500 to 10,000 staff”.
Conze also supported new products such as the supersonic hairdryer being developed, which contributed to the rise in underlying profit by 41% last year, on revenues of £2.5 billion.
However, it appears that perhaps Conze’s departure was not on such amicable terms as it first appeared. Dyson are looking to sue Conze for leaking the company’s closely guarded secrets. There are also allegations that Conze used company resources for his own benefit.
In a brief statement, the company said: “The Dyson board has decided to bring a claim against Max Conze at the high court in London in relation to his actions while chief executive, including the disclosure of confidential information and a breach of his fiduciary duties.”
Max’s response to Dyson’s claims is that “[he] did nothing of the sort.”
Conze himself has hit back in stating that he believes Dyson’s supposed intention to sue is actually a “naked threat” to disguise and distract the claim being made by Conze against Dyson.
Max Conze’s claims
Max Conze believes that the only reason Dyson is looking to sue him, on grounds which he states are false, is to distract from the claim for wrongful dismissal which he intends to bring against Dyson.
The claims Conze intends to bring are against James Dyson and the company, and are said to come to court in due course.
Wrongful dismissal arises as a breach of contract where an employer has breached either express or implied terms of an employment contract. If an employer is found guilty of wrongful dismissal, the employee can claim damages for the loss caused by their employer in wrongfully terminating their contract of employment. This is the stance Conze is taking against Dyson and the reason why he believes they are attempting to muddy the water with claims of their own against him.
If you have concerns regarding data protection or confidential information, or have any queries regarding an employee or the termination of your own employment we would be delighted to assist you with the same.
Christopher Buck is a Solicitor and Associate Partner in the Corporate Commercial department of Franklins Solicitors LLP, which has offices in Milton Keynes and Northampton. Christopher seeks to provide cost effective solutions to businesses and can be contacted on 01908 660966 or Christopher.Buck@franklins-sols.co.uk.
Ben Stanton is a Solicitor and Associate Partner in the Employment department of Franklins Solicitors LLP, which has offices in Milton Keynes and Northampton. Ben seeks to provide tailored advice to both employers and employees and can be contacted on 01908 660966 or Ben.Stanton@franklins-sols.co.uk.