ONC Lawyers is seeking compensation from a former solicitor hired at the law firm for lying about his reason to quit so he could join a competitor.
According to details of the case, the defendant John Yiu Wing Ching handed in his resignation to ONC Lawyers in November 2012 after eight months of service at the company.
He told his employer he had to return to Canada to take care of his ailing mother and planned to continue his practice there. As a result, he wanted to shorten his three month notice period.
But Yiu never made the move to Canada and instead joined international law firm Edwards Wildman in Hong Kong, Apple Daily reports. In January 2013, ONC Lawyers discovered Yiu had simply wanted to jump ship instead of moving to Canada, and decided to take legal action against him.
The employer is seeking HK$200,000 in compensation from Yiu for leaving his job early. The employer also told the court Yiu was put in charge of a civil case when he was employed at ONC Lawyers but failed to collect the full legislation and service fee from the client, worth about HK$600,000.
In total the firm is seeking HK$800,000 in compensation from its former employee.
According to Yiu’s attorney, he did not lie and the decision to not go to Canada was a change of plans. The attorney argues Yiu is not responsible for telling his employer everything.
The judge questioned ONC Lawyers on why they felt their former employee was responsible for telling them his future plans. The company admitted he doesn’t have that responsibility as such, but that he went too far by lying. According to the company, Yiu could have be honest about his intention to leave and requested to shorten his notice period.
The trial continues today at the District Court.