Essex-based civil engineer Camway Group is suing a former employee for more than £400,000, claiming that he set up a company to take away a contract from his employer.
In a High Court writ Camway alleges that project manager Anthony Luckett wrongly told the firm's client, food manufacturer Cargill, that it was not willing to tender for an existing maintenance contract when it came up for renewal.

The writ also alleges that Luckett set up his own company, ATL Civil Maintenance, on 5 January this year to put together its own bid for the contract.

Camway did tender for the project, but lost out to ATL, the only other bidder. Camway sacked Luckett on 29 January, citing gross misconduct. Camway claims that this alleged gross misconduct resulted in the company losing a contract that would have produced a profit of £407,858.28. Camway is suing for the lost profit, plus interest of £26,907.47 and continuing interest of £89.39 a day.

Camway also contends that Luckett breached his contract by running down the existing service Camway provided to Cargill, accusing the project manager of slow responses to requests from the client.

The writ says Luckett signed a confidentiality agreement in August last year, and that he wrongly used his position as project manager to disclose confidential information.

Camway confirmed that the matter is in the hands of the parties' lawyers. The dispute is likely to reach court next month or in February. Luckett, of Benfleet, Essex, was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.