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Ex-Guy Carpenter employees file partial motion to dismiss suit

Guy Carpenter

Three former Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC executives, who left the firm in March to join Lockton Cos. LLC, filed a partial motion to dismiss the litigation filed against them by the reinsurance intermediary on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the three executives’ attorney said in a letter to the U.S. District Court in New York that said they would like to engage in “meaningful discussions” with the reinsurance intermediary to resolve claims in the litigation filed again them.

David Elsberg, managing director of Selendy & Gay P.C. in New York,  also said in the letter Tuesday to Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, of U.S. District Court in New York, that plaintiffs and defendants have agreed to convert “without limitation” a May 30 temporary restraining order against the three men – Timothy Gardner, Nicholas Durant and Claude Yoder – into a preliminary injunction.

Tuesday’s memorandum in Guy Carpenter & Co. and Marsh & McLennan Cos. v. Timothy Gardner, Nicholas Durant, and Claude Yoder,  which was filed in support of a partial motion to dismiss the complaint, states the complaint “ignores the plain terms of the (restrictive covenant agreements) – and the strong policy of New York law that favors competition and requires anti-competitive restrictive covenants to be read narrowly.

The filing focuses on “Client A,” who was allegedly improperly solicited by the Lockton executives, and an alleged attempt to recruit a Guy Carpenter employee.

“The reality is that Guy Carpenter’s attempt to restrict Mr. Durant and Mr. Yoder for performing work for Client A is an attempt to stifle fair competition,” the memorandum states.

It said Lockton Re’s United Kingdom affiliate has “been independently attempting to develop Client A’s international reinsurance market placement business for months in response to Client A’s desire to have two reinsurance brokers representing it.

“Moreover, that Guy Carpenter is losing employees since its merger with Jardine Lloyd Thompson (‘JLT’) as a result of widespread employee dissatisfaction with the transaction and the prospects of working for this combined organization do not support a claim against Defendants,” the memorandum states.

It says also the plaintiffs fail to allege the defendants violated the restrictive covenant not to solicit Guy Carpenter’s clients, and by soliciting each other and the Guy Carpenter employee.

It states the restrictive covenant restricted Mr. Durant from soliciting only Guy Carpenter employees with whom he had come into contact within the last two years, and plaintiffs “have not adequately alleged (the employee) meets that description as to Mr. Durant.”

The memorandum also denies the executives breached their fiduciary duty to plaintiffs.

Spokespeople for Lockton and Guy Carpenter had no comment.







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