FactsMr Gamage, Ms Wright, and Mr Crawley were all long-term senior employees of Whitmar Publications Ltd, a publishing company specialising in magazines for the printing industry. The employees were engaged under the terms of a letter of engagement stating that they were subject to Whitmar’s terms of employment. The employees all resigned from their senior positions on 7 January 2013, stating that it was their intention to set up a competing company, Earth Island. However, after the employees' departure, it transpired that they had in fact established their company on 31 August 2012. It also came to light that, while they were still employed by Whitmar, they had allegedly:
- solicited or attempted to solicit a number of Whitmar's clients and staff for their new enterprise;
- used Whitmar's confidential information to create media packs and printing guides for Earth Island that were similar to those used by Whitmar;
- used LinkedIn groups managed on behalf of Whitmar to market their new company; and
- taken Whitmar's circulation and customer databases with them when they left.