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Marsh LLC last week sued NFP Corp. for allegedly poaching 13 former JLT Specialty Insurance Services Inc. real estate employees.
Marsh, which acquired Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC last year in a $5.6 billion deal, also filed a separate lawsuit against four of the employees who left JLT to work for New York-based NFP.
The first lawsuit, JLT Specialty Insurance Services Inc. v. NFP Property & Casualty Services Inc., was filed in U.S. District Court in New York on May 1. The second suit, JLT Specialty Insurance Services Inc. v. Gary Pestana, et al., was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco two days later.
The New York lawsuit states 13 employees in JLT’s real estate and property practices left the firm without prior notice to join NFP from March 20-26.
It said 11 of the 13 had signed non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements agreeing not to disclose JLT’s confidential information and/or trade secrets including information about JLT’s client and client relationships.
The lawsuit charges that despite that, at least some of the employees have solicited JLT clients and employees. It charged also that immediately before their resignation, at least some of these employees had downloaded and/or uploaded JLT’s confidential information to external drives and/or personal cloud storage accounts.
The lawsuit charges NFP with tortious interference with existing and prospective business relationships, tortious interference with contract, unfair competition and misappropriation of confidential information.
The litigation seeks to restrain NFP in connecting with the alleged poaching, and compensatory and punitive damages.
The San Francisco lawsuit, which names as defendants four of the departing JLT employees, charges the individuals with breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of the state penal code.
The employees named and their former positions are Gary Pestana, Los Angeles-based executive vice president and practice leader of JLT’s real estate practice group; Sarah Sherman, San Francisco-based senior vice president in its property/casualty practice group; Dustin Smith, Los Angeles-based senior vice president in its real estate practices group; and Ramy Morcos, Los Angeles-based vice president in its real estate practice group.
Marsh said in a statement, “Marsh & McLennan is vigilant in protecting its business interests, and will aggressively pursue those who breach their obligations and those who encourage others to do so.”
NFP said in a statement it has no comment at this time.
Earlier this year, Lockton Cos. LLC fired a barrage of litigation against Alliant Insurance Services Inc. for allegedly poaching 26 of its employees, including lawsuits filed in Delaware Chancery Court and state and federal courts in Missouri.
Arthur J. Gallagher, the London-based international arm of brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., said Wednesday it had reached a settlement with David Ross, the former CEO of its international operations, and two other executives.