Non-compete clause not 'fair': Court dismisses injunctions against ex-MoneySmart employee who joined rival

2 weeks ago 41

SINGAPORE: The High Court dismissed interim injunctions granted to financial website MoneySmart that prevented a former employee from working for a rival firm, after concluding that the non-compete clause was unreasonable and unfair. 

The non-compete clause was also "against the interests of the public". It was therefore not valid or enforceable, said Senior Judge Tan Siong Thye in a judgment dated on Tuesday (Apr 2), in which he ruled in favour of the former employee, Mr Artem Musienko.  

The non-compete clause, commonly found in employment contracts, restricts an employee from working for competitors for a certain period after their current employment ends. 

MoneySmart, which operates in Singapore, Hong Kong and has a presence in Taiwan and the Philippines, provides online financial product comparison services for customers to review, compare and buy such products through its website. 

In 2022, it launched insurance brand Bubblegum, and hired Mr Musienko to be head of technology in July that year.

As part of his job scope, the Russian led the design, product and technology department for the Bubblegum division to create the brand's platform and mobile application and ensure its functionality. 

He resigned from MoneySmart on Nov 23, 2023, with his last day of employment on Jan 12, 2024. 

Three days later, Mr Musienko started working as the head of engineering for CAG Regional Singapore, a subsidiary of MoneyHero Limited - MoneySmart's rival. 

Similar to MoneySmart, MoneyHero has its own insurance brand, Seedly Travel Insurance, distributed by a subsidiary in Singapore. 

On Jan 25, MoneySmart filed a suit seeking a 12-month injunction - starting from Jan 12 - to stop Mr Musienko from acting in breach of the non-compete clause.

These included directly or indirectly engaging with any business in Singapore and Hong Kong that provides online financial product comparison services. 

MoneySmart, represented by law firm Shook Lin & Bok, argued that such businesses included MoneyHero Limited and its associated companies. 

The company also sought an injunction to restrain Mr Musienko from acting in breach of the confidentiality clause by using or disclosing all information about MoneySmart. 

It sought damages arising from loss it suffered from the breaches of both the non-compete clause and the confidentiality clause. 

Mr Musienko, represented b...

Read Entire Article