Companies that fail to implement a workplace social media policy risk losing large tranches of business when employees leave, warn Coles Miller Solicitors.
Employers with no social media policy are more likely to face expensive courtroom legal bills and less likely to win their case, say the lawyers.
Coles Miller is teaming up with marketing agency Intergage and recruitment company TeamJobs to run a seminar outlining social media’s opportunities and risks.
'Social Meda, The Wild West Of Our Time' will be held on February 6 (9.30am-12.30pm) at the Hallmark Hotel, Durley Chine Road, Bournemouth.
Coles Miller Partner Neil Andrews, head of the firm’s commercial department, highlighted the dangers of ignoring social media’s impact on the modern workplace.
“Companies which are highly driven by sales can be particularly vulnerable,” said Mr Andrews, a company commercial and employment law specialist.
“Unless the company has taken the correct measures in advance, its whole business can walk out of the door when an important employee leaves.”
Coles Miller employment law solicitors cited a recent High Court judgment involving a dispute over ownership of a LinkedIn account: Whitmar Publications Ltd v Gamage and others  EWHC 1881 (Ch).
The case involved three printing firm employees who resigned to set up a competing company. Whitmar claimed damages and sought an injunction restraining them from using confidential information obtained during their employment.
The High Court upheld Whitmar’s application for an injunction, pending a full trial of the issues.
Mr Andrews said: “This is a landmark case which demonstrates that the courts are prepared to make decisions about social media and its implications in the workplace.
“The case represents judicial recognition that social media is a business asset worthy of protection and that - in limited circumstances - employers may have ownership rights over LinkedIn accounts established by their employees,” he added.
Mr Andrews will be speaking at the seminar. Also speaking will be TeamJobs Managing Director Jason Gault and Intergage Managing Director Paul Tansey.
Mr Tansey will outline the latest benefits offered by social media.
“Many businesses are still, understandably, adjusting to life in a socially connected world,” said Mr Tansey.
“The importance of social media in sales, customer service, employment, brand and reputation management cannot be overlooked by any modern business but it’s a constantly evolving world and it’s vital to keep up,” he added.
Coles Miller is a leading Dorset law firm with one of the largest commercial departments in the Bournemouth and Poole area.
Its services for business include company commercial and property work, planning, employment law and debt recovery.
The firm also has specialist teams dealing with the hotel and leisure and marine sectors.
To book places at the seminar - ‘Social Media, The Wild West Of Our Time’ - please contact marketing assistant Tom Crewe, 01202 673011.
For further information about commercial and employment law, please contact Coles Miller Solicitors Partner Neil Andrews, 01202 673011.