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Alliant Insurance barred from soliciting certain Aon construction clients

Alliant Insurance barred from soliciting certain Aon construction clients

A New York judge has issued an injunction against Alliant Insurance Services Inc., barring it from soliciting certain clients of Aon P.L.C.'s construction operations in its ongoing legal tussle over employee poaching with the insurance broker.

New York Supreme Court Justice Marcy S. Friedman's Sept. 21 order forbids Alliant Senior Managing Director Peter Arkley, formerly CEO of the construction operations at London-based Aon, from soliciting business from any former Aon client or customer that Mr. Arkely worked with during the two years prior to June 13, 2011.

The injunction also bars Newport Beach, Calif.-based Alliant from soliciting any Aon Construction Services Group member to work at Alliant. In a lawsuit filed in New York in 2011, Aon alleged that Mr. Arkley and several former Aon executives conspired with Alliant to solicit at least 40 other employees to quit Aon and join Alliant.

Justice Bernard J. Fried of the Supreme Court of the State of New York issued a similar temporary injunction against Alliant in December 2011.

Separately, in June 2011, Mr. Arkley and other former Aon employees filed a lawsuit in California challenging the legality of the noncompete clauses in their employment contracts with Aon. In June, Judge Dale Fischer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California struck down the noncompete provisions in Aon's employment agreements with Mr. Arkley and fellow former Aon employees Ken Caldwell and Michael Parizin.

Conversely, a ruling issued in July of this year said Aon's suit against Alliant can move forward, deeming the California lawsuit a “tactical first strike” intended to shift the legal battle to California, where employment covenants have lesser legal standing.

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