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Gallagher files another poaching suit against Alliant

Posted On: Aug. 1, 2022 2:27 PM CST


Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has filed another poaching lawsuit against Alliant Insurance Services Inc., charging that eight Chicago Gallagher employees resigned last month and immediately began soliciting business from Gallagher clients.

Separately, Gallagher won a partial victory last week in another poaching case it had filed against Alliant in federal district court in San Francisco in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. vs. Don Tarantino et al.

The lawsuit in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. v. Alliant Insurance Services Inc., which was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago Thursday, says that on July 11, three Chicago Gallagher employees who worked closely with one another on several important accounts informed Gallagher they were resigning “effective immediately” despite having signed an employment agreement requiring them to provide 21 days’ written notice of their resignations.

They were followed by five additional Gallagher employees over ensuing days, the lawsuit says.

The complaint charges that Alliant immediately began contacting Gallagher clients that their departing employees had serviced to induce them to leave Gallagher and move their business to Alliant, including falsely telling one large client there was no one left to service their account.

The lawsuit says the resignations are “part of a concerted course of action by Alliant… designed and intended wrongfully to steal business from competitors rather than compete through lawful means.”

The complaint said according to the Delaware Chancery Court, Alliant is facing at least 41 lawsuits from different competitors in 25 jurisdictions, and that Alliant has poached Gallagher employees in California, Florida, Massachusetts and Texas.

It charges Alliant with tortious interference with contract and prospective economic advantage, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy.

Gallagher also filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

Separately, in 2020, Gallagher filed suit against Alliant in U.S. District Court in San Francisco charging that more than 10 employees had left it and begun working for Alliant in a resignation coordinated by Alliant, in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. v. Don Tarantino, et al.

In November 2020, the court dismissed all claims against Alliant and certain claims against the individual defendants. Gallagher then filed an amended complaint in the case.

In last Wednesday’s ruling, the court granted the defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment relating to conspiracy liability for trade secret misappropriation.

But it denied its motion to dismiss claims for nonconspiracy liability for trade secret misappropriation and for breach of fiduciary liability, intentional interference and unfair business practice.

A spokeswoman for Gallagher had no comment and Alliant did not respond to a request for comment.