N.Y. Judge: Aon’s Poaching Suit Against Alliant Can Proceed

July 3, 2012

A New York court ruled last week that Aon Risk Services Northeast can proceed with its lawsuit against California-based Alliant Insurance Services involving employment covenants.

Aon alleged that several of its former executives who now work for Alliant had conspired with their new employer to poach dozens of additional Aon employees and clients. Aon said such a move would be in violation of the employment covenants and the non-compete agreement.

Aon filed its lawsuit last year but Alliant had filed a motion to dismiss it. On June 29, Judge Bernard Fried of the Supreme Court of the State of New York rejected Alliant’s motion, giving the green light for Aon’s lawsuit to move forward.

Alliant has maintained that the New York case should be dismissed in favor of the legal proceedings taking place in California. Last year, Alliant and Peter Arkley, Ken Caldwell and Michael Parizino — former Aon executives now with Alliant’s Construction Services Group — challenged in California the enforceability of Aon’s restrictive covenants.

Court proceedings in California are proving to be more favorable to Alliant. Last month, Judge Dale Fischer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected the non-compete provisions in Aon Risk Services Northeast’s employment agreements with its former executives Arkley, Caldwell and Parizino. The California court found these covenants not to compete void and unenforceable under California law. The court further found that Aon’s use of these restrictive covenants constituted an unfair business practice under California’s unfair competition law.

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