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Marsh, NFP set to settle poaching dispute

Marsh, NFP set to settle poaching dispute

A lawsuit filed by Marsh LLC against NFP Corp. over alleged employee poaching was stayed by a federal judge Thursday after the rival brokerages reached an agreement in principle to settle the dispute. 

Marsh, which acquired Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC last year in a $5.6 billion dollar deal, had filed two separate lawsuits in the matter. JLT Specialty Insurance Services Inc. v. NFP Property & Casualty Services Inc. was filed in federal court in New York on May 1 over the departure of 13 departing real estate insurance brokers.

A second suit, JLT Specialty Insurance Services Inc. v. Gary Pestana, et al., which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on May 3, names four of the departing JLT employees as defendants.

According to a joint status report filed in the San Francisco court Wednesday, following a Nov. 20 settlement conference and subsequent discussions, the parties have agreed in principle to settle the dispute “subject to entering into an integrated settlement contract and finalizing various ancillary deal terms.”

The status report said the parties are in the process of preparing to stay the litigation in both cases. While various issues including discovery disputes remain unresolved, in light of the anticipated settlement both sides asked for all deadlines in the case be held in abeyance for the next 60 days “until a formal settlement can be reached and the Parties file a formal Notice of Discontinuance with the Court.”

The San Francisco court agreed to hold all deadlines in abeyance in an order issued Thursday.

Marsh and NFP declined to comment.