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Alliant wins legal battle with Aon over alleged employee, customer poaching


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.—A U.S. district court in California handed Alliant Insurance Services Inc. a victory in its ongoing legal battle with Aon P.L.C. over the alleged poaching of employees and customers.

In a lawsuit filed last year, London-based Aon has alleged that several of its former executives conspired with Newport Beach, Calif.-based Alliant to solicit at least 40 other employees of Aon's construction services group to quit Aon and join Alliant.

In June 2011, Alliant and former Aon employees Peter Arkley, Ken Caldwell and Michael Parizino filed a lawsuit in California challenging the enforceability of the noncompete covenants included in the employment agreements the men signed while at Aon. On Wednesday, Judge Dale Fischer of the United States District Court for the Central District of California struck down the noncompete provisions in Aon's employment agreements.

“These important rulings reject Aon's attempt to use illegal employee covenants to restrict Alliant's brokers from working with their clients,” an attorney for Alliant, Jeffrey S. Klein, said in a statement. “Alliant will continue to vigorously defend its right to compete.”

An Aon spokesman in Chicago said the company would continue to seek redress in court. “The injunction prohibiting Alliant from soliciting Aon's employees or specified clients remains in place, and the New York court has found it likely that Alliant engaged in misconduct,” the spokesman said. “We look forward to continuing to pursue our claims for damages from Alliant.”

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