After a Hearing that lasted nine days and a Judgment spanning more than 280 pages, Marathon Asset Management (MAM) walked away from a £15 million claim with an award of just £2 after a High Court Judge ruled that no injury was sustained.
Before Mr Seddon and Mr Bridgeman left the business, they unlawfully copied 40,000 documents and over 30 company files for their future use. These files were never actually used after the employees left and, as such, they argued that MAM had suffered no losses as a result.
MAM’s counter-argument was that “if you take something, the law requires you to pay for it.” It also argued the company was exposed to a risk of loss and Mr Seddon and Mr Bridgman acquired an opportunity for financial gain.
However, the Judge ruled that “The law does not compensate people for being exposed to a risk of injury” and that MAM “[failed] to match the remedy to the wrong.” It was further decided that the employer had “failed to establish that it suffered any loss” due to the misuse of information or that the employees made any gain. The Judge ruled that MAM was entitled to just £1 in nominal damages from each defendant.
Interestingly, before the Judgment was given, the defendants offered MAM £1,500,000 to settle the claim out of court. However, expecting to be awarded their £15 million claim in court, MAM rejected their offer. As a result, MAM was not only awarded just nominal damages, but was also ordered to pay the majority of the legal costs.