Former employee accused of disclosing confidential information on potential sites to rivals

McCarthy & Stone is heading for a High Court showdown with its former senior land buyer after accusing him of leaking information on potential sites to rival housebuilders.

The retirement homes builder alleges that Nicholas Maguire, who was dismissed for gross misconduct in July, sent emails to rival land buyers disclosing confidential information while he was still at the company. He is also alleged to have sent copies of the company’s land appraisal software to competitors.

In a writ, McCarthy & Stone accuses Maguire of failing to disclose development opportunities to the company, failing to work full time for his employer and working for a rival company.

Maguire was said to have failed to disclose potential sites in Kendal and Trentham and to have suggested that he and others make financial gains from a Warrington site. The company also listed a series of other sites where Maguire was alleged to have breached his duties, including in Northwich, Crewe and north Manchester.

Among those Maguire allegedly made contact with were land agents Jenics and Gerrish Price Kay. The writ says he sent Neil Bowler of Jenics an email entitled “G2 potential” in January 2007. G2 is the first-time buyer housing division of George Wimpey Homes.

Maguire is alleged to have deliberately concealed his misconduct by using a hotmail account while working for McCarthy & Stone to contact competitors and land agents, but on 11 June tried to delete all material on his computer before leaving the company.

McCarthy & Stone is seeking an inquiry into damages for breach of contract, confidence and fiduciary duty, and declarations on any proceeds from his breaches.
McCarthy & Stone declined to comment.