Foxtons Sues Former Employee Over Data Theft

Agency claims confidential information 'worth millions' was taken

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Although more accustomed to being sued than doing the suing, Foxtons this week filed court papers against a former director claiming that he sold data and used it to set up on his own.

The property firm which has its headquarters in Chiswick Business Park believes Timothy Hassell took confidential information said to be worth millions of pounds when he set up a new agency with his partner Christopher Andrew.

32 year old Hassell worked for Foxtons for 12 years and was an operations director and lettings manager.

He left the estate agency in January to set up his own business called Draker Lettings.

Hassell told the Evening Standard he was paying “the maximum possible price” for his “stupid” actions after his former employer demanded £300,000 in damages.

He said: “I did something very stupid, and I have been made to pay the maximum possible price, financially and emotionally. I regret what I did. All I care about is running a good business.”

The newspaper's report says Hassell and Andrew, who is described in the court papers as 'husband and business partner', are in the final stages of negotiations with Foxtons to reach an out-of-court settlement.

“We regret what has happened," said Andrew. "We regret that Tim’s friends at Foxtons can’t really speak to him any more. We regret we have upset Foxtons, and regret the costs on our side. It is going to be damaging financially to the company.”

September 30, 2010