Oyster Risk demands damages of £100,000 from Swinney

Insurance broker Oyster Risk Solutions has launched a legal battle against its former appointed representative Colin Swinney.

The Broker Network-owned company accuses Swinney of breaching confidentiality and breaking restrictive covenants in his employment contract.

Now Oyster Risk is demanding damages of £100,000 from Swinney, of Liverpool Road, Peel Green, Manchester.

According to a High Court writ, within a few days of resigning from Oyster Risk on 30 April this year Swinney started work for rival company Ten Insurance Services. In breach of clauses in his employment contract, Swinney, who as an appointed representative would have brokered business in a designated region, managed to successfully transfer business to his new employers, and this caused financial loss to Oyster Risk, the writ says.

It is alleged that in his resignation letter Swinney claimed that Oyster Risk had imposed a change in commission which amounted to a fundamental breach of contract, meaning that his post-termination covenants and confidentiality obligations no longer applied.

Yorkshire-based Oyster Risk disputes this, and says there was no breach of his contract, or of commission payments which applied to him.

The writ says that before leaving Oyster Risk Swinney downloaded a large amount of confidential information, and sent a considerable number of historic and contemporary emails to his personal email account, all of which contained confidential information.

Oyster Risk argues that it has lost commission of at least £7,000 and expects to suffer losses of at least £35,000 in total.

Swinney is claiming constructive dismissal. His claim will be considered by an employment tribunal.