Principal had both proprietary and personal remedy for breach of fiduciary duty

The facts

The defendant (D) breached fiduciary duty owed to the claimant (C) when given the opportunity to exploit certain technology. The defendant went to a third party with the opportunity despite agreeing to work with C in return for a share of potential income.

The decision

It was ruled that D would have to hand over any shares and fees from the third party to C due to the breach in duty. The judge highlighted that a principal has both a proprietary and a personal remedy against the agent which meant that C would be able to recover the value of shares even if D no longer had them.

Additionally, the court can take the highest value of D’s assets that were acquired from the breach of duty as they are not limited to the value of the day of the court ruling. However, if D is able to give a legitimate reason as to why C is not entitled to the assets, the burden of proof shifts to the claimant.