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(1) Shepherds Investments Ltd (2) Shepherds (Financial) Ltd v Andrew Walters [2006] EWHC 836 (Ch)

The former directors of the claimant investment companies were in breach of their fiduciary duties and in breach of their obligation of loyalty by virtue of the steps they had taken prior to their resignation to promote the establishment of a competing business.

28 April 2006

The claimant companies claimed damages and an account of profits against their former directors for various breaches of duty and contract, including the setting up of a competing business, diversion of a business opportunity and misuse of confidential information. Some of the defendants had written contracts with the claimant financial services companies which included confidentiality and no-compete clauses, others did not. They had discussed the possibility of establishing for their own benefit a new business carried on by two new companies that would invest in whole life policies, and had taken preparatory steps to launch the business including the preparation of a business plan that had referred to the claimant's group model. The defendants submitted that: (1) they owed no duties to the claimants as all steps taken to establish the new companies never went beyond preparatory steps, the business was not in competition with the claimants in any sense as the products were different ...

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