juin 10, 2023


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Major construction firm sues ex-executive for ‘sharing trade secrets’

One of the country’s largest building materials provider is suing its former managing director, alleging that he sold shares and sent commercially sensitive information to one of its main competitors.

ome Project Center Ltd (HPC), which trades as TJ O’Mahony, C&D Providers and PH Ross, has filed the claims in a lawsuit against Denis O’Connor, who left the company last January.

In the High Court proceedings, HPC claimed that Mr O’Connor sold his 10% stake in the company for €1.1 million to rival Fosglow Ltd, owner of Clondalkin Business Providers.

HPC also alleges that Mr. O’Connor transmitted confidential and commercially sensitive company documents to a private email address between November 2020 and January 2021, including information about its customers, operations, plans and employees.

It alleges that he later shared HPC’s trade secrets with Fosglow.

The case, which is being brought by HPC and its directors Sean Moran, Emily Moran and Sean McNamara, has been accepted into the fast-track commercial court’s list by Mr. Dennis MacDonald after a request from their counsel Rossa Fanning SC.

The defendants are Mr. O’Connor, and the principals of Fosglow and Fosglow, husband and wife Alan Hegarty and Emma May. Mrs. May is the daughter of Liam May, the developer of Dundrum Town Centre.

HPC is the second largest building materials company in the country, after Grafton Group, trading in 16 locations and employing 350 people.

According to HPC’s statement of claim, Mr. O’Connor, of Aghadoe, Killarney, Co Kerry, received the shares free of charge in 2011 and 2015 as an incentive to hire.

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It said that under a settlement agreement relating to his departure from the company, Mr. O’Connor pledged not to disclose the company’s information for his benefit or the benefit of anyone else. As part of the agreement, HPC paid Mr. O’Connor €181,322.

HPC alleged that Mr. O’Connor sent more than 100 emails containing trade and business secrets to his private email account, including HPC’s 2021 budget, payroll information, consolidated accounts, group management accounts, terms of purchase from suppliers, and terms Debit, plus customer and credit terms. border. She said Mr. O’Connor did not disclose this and only discovered it after an IT forensic review in July and August.

The company alleges that Mr. O’Connor entered into discussions with Fosglow in April about working for their companies, selling his HPC stock to Fosglow and substantiating this with confidential information about HPC.

An agreement was reached on 28 April to sell Mr. O’Connor’s shares to Fosglow for €1.1 million and to enter into a 24-month consulting contract with Fosglow at an annual salary of €50,000.

HPC directors refused to record the stock transfer.

In its work, HPC seeks damages or damages and calculate the profits that defendants may have earned from their alleged actions. You also want an order directing Mr. O’Connor to make part or all of his settlement payments.

HPC is also seeking to declare that its directors have lawfully exercised their power to refuse to register the transfer of shares.

The case returns to court in January.