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Marsh LLC has filed a poaching lawsuit against Lockton Cos. LLC and the official who led its special purpose acquisition group, charging violation of noncompete agreements and its solicitation of Marsh clients.
Lockton announced last month that it had recruited Machua Millett as chief innovation officer and alternative investment practice leader in its financial services group. He was previously chief innovation officer, FINPRO U.S. at Marsh.
Mr. Millett signed several agreements with Marsh between 2010, when he joined the brokerage, and this year, that restricted him from soliciting certain Marsh clients for a one-year period after his separation from the brokerage, and prevented him from using or disclosing Marsh’s confidential information, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in New York in Marsh USA Inc. v. Michael Machua Millett and Northeast Series of Lockton Cos. LLC.
The lawsuit charges that after he resigned from Marsh in June, he immediately began soliciting its clients, using confidential information he learned at Marsh on Lockton’s behalf.
The lawsuit charges that Lockton’s “modus operandi” is to poach employees from its direct competitors, and that it has been a defendant in “dozens of lawsuits” by Lockton competitors that have made similar allegations since 2006.
The lawsuit charges Mr. Millett with breach of contract and fiduciary duties, Lockton with tortious interference with contract and both defendants with tortious interference with existing and prospective business relationships and unfair competition.
Spokeswomen for Marsh and Lockton had no comment.
In July, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. 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.