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Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has failed to persuade a court to lift a bar on it pursuing various customers of rival brokerage Lockton Cos. LLC in connection with the alleged poaching of more than two dozen Lockton staff.
Alliant petitioned the Delaware Chancery Court for a motion to stay the preliminary injunction it issued against brokerage last month, but on Monday the court said that Alliant’s arguments were “slightly more specific versions of generalized arguments about customer choice that Alliant presented in opposition to Lockton’s preliminary injunction.”
Lockton has filed litigation in multiple courts charging that beginning March 12, Newport Beach, California-based Alliant illegally “poached” from a Denver-based Lockton unit seven producers, 19 other employees and 24 customers who represented millions in revenue, according to the lawsuit filed March 12 in the Delaware court in Mountain West Series of Lockton Cos. LLC and Lockton Partners LLC v. Alliant Insurance Services.
Alliant had moved to modify the preliminary injunction and had simultaneously moved to stay portions of it, pending a decision on its request for modifications, according to the Chancery Court’s order.
The Chancery Court said, “In the slightly more specific versions, Alliant contended that (i) July 1 was a ‘major renewal date’ for many of the customers that the Producer Members improperly solicited and (ii) certain types of customers would suffer more significant harm if the Producer Members and their teams could not service them.”
It said, “Although Alliant’s arguments in the Stay Motion were marginally more specific than its broad theme of customer choice the margin was slim,” said the order. “The affidavits Alliant submitted with the Stay Motion were long on generalities and rhetoric, while short on details.”
The order said, “Alliant could have easily made these arguments during the briefing on the preliminary injunction motion. Alliant should not have held these arguments in reserve to deploy in a second bite at the apple if it lost.
“The broader issue of customer choice was briefed and argued, and the court considered the implications of that argument carefully…The positions that Aliant took in the Stay Motion were thus effectively a request for reargument based on issues that the court already considered and addressed,” said the court, in denying Aliant’s motion.
An Alliant spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. A Lockton spokeswoman had no comment.
Litigation filed in multiple courts by Lockton Cos. LLC alleging rival brokerage Alliant Insurance Services Inc. poached more than two dozen staff reflects a market where talent is scarce, say observers.