In Penn. Lawsuit, ACE Accuses OneBeacon of Poaching Employees

September 13, 2012

ACE American Insurance Company recently filed a lawsuit against OneBeacon U.S. Holdings Inc. In its lawsuit, filed in Pennsylvania, ACE alleges that OneBeacon poached the entire eight member-team that made up ACE’s East Coast Surety Department.

What’s more, ACE charges that OneBeacon “conspired” with these employees to “steal ACE trade secrets while they were still employed by ACE and deliver them to OneBeacon upon their coordinated resignations from ACE.” All eight employees resigned from ACE on July 30, 2012, ACE states in its complaint.

“OneBeacon is a competitor of ACE and is engaged in a substantially similar business,” ACE states in its lawsuit.

After resigning from ACE on July 30, the complaint states, the eight employees “were hired by OneBeacon, and in fact became OneBeacon’s surety department.”

“Prior to July 30, 2012, no surety department existed at OneBeacon,” ACE states in the complaint, adding that OneBeacon’s surety department is now “largely or exclusively” comprised of these former ACE surety employees.

ACE states in its complaint that the commercial surety business is increasingly competitive. It says success or failure of an organization is based on its use of information — about clients, underwriting, reinsurance, rating and pricing.

ACE further alleges that OneBeacon “coordinated an employee raid to obtain and use ACE’s trade secrets. OneBeacon and the surety employees are now using ACE’s trade secrets to, among other things, solicit ACE clients.”

In its lawsuit, ACE says an injunctive relief is necessary to stop OneBeacon from “making use of or publishing the confidential and proprietary business information of ACE, from further solicitation of ACE’s clients, and for other relief as ACE may seek and as the court may deem appropriate.”

The case is ACE American Insurance Company v. OneBeacon U.S. Holdings Inc., U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Aug. 17, 2012.

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