British online food retailer Ocado Group Plc. has settled its bitter legal fight with one of its co-founders, after he obtained confidential information to help set up a rival business.
Ocado sued Jonathan Faiman as well as his business partner Jon Hillary, who also previously worked for the company, and their business Project Today Holdings Ltd. for breach of confidence in 2019.
The suit centered on allegations that Faiman used Hillary to get access to confidential information while he worked at Ocado, which was then used to try to forge deals with Marks & Spencer Group Plc. and Waitrose Ltd
A “significant” payment was made to Ocado as part of the settlement, as well as an agreed statement of facts, Ocado said in a statement. The pair admitted they obtained documents relating to the running of Ocado’s automated warehouses and the key agreement under which Ocado would provide its online grocery technology to its joint venture with M&S, according to the statement of facts.
It was also accepted that Hillary, induced by Faiman, breached certain contractual duties owed to Ocado. Ocado has now recovered the confidential documents, and has obtained a permanent injunction preventing the pair from using the information in the future, the company said.
It’s “our duty to protect our people and their work from any unlawful and illegitimate use by third parties for their own ends,” said an Ocado spokesman.
A spokesman for Project Today declined to comment.