Marsh/JLT Suit Against Competitor NFP Alleges Poaching of 13 Employees

By | May 10, 2019

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Specialty Insurance Service (JLT), which became a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan on April 1, is suing a competitor insurance brokerage for allegedly poaching 13 former JLT employees. JLT is also separately suing four of the 13 employees, all of whom worked in JLT’s real estate practice in California.

JLT accuses New York- based NFP Property and Casualty Services of “wrongly luring” the 13 employees away from JLT just days before the closing on the JLT acquisition.

The suits allege that NFP representatives were in communication with the employees and received confidential client information.

When contacted by Insurance Journal, NFP said it would have no comment at this time.

Marsh & McLennan, parent of broker Marsh, first announced its plan to acquire JLT in September 2018.

The JLT complaint alleges that between March 20, 2019 and March 22, 2019, 12 employees in JLT’s Real Estate and Property Practices “resigned their employment, without prior notice, immediately joined NFP, a competitor in the insurance industry, and began unfairly competing with JLT.” Then on March 26, 2019, another member of JLT’s Real Estate Practice also resigned, joined NFP and “began unfairly competing with JLT.”

JLT claims that all of the 13 employees owed loyalty and a fiduciary duty to JLT and that 11 of them had signed agreements to protect confidential information including trade secrets and client information. Ten of the 11 employees also agreed that they would not solicit, divert, take away or do business with JLT’s clients or prospective clients within a year after leaving JLT, according to the complaint.

JLT says it has reason to believe that some or all of the 13 employees solicited JLT clients and employees and downloaded and divulged JLT’s confidential information to representatives of NFP.

The lawsuit against NFP was filed in U.S. District Court in New York on May 1.

The second suit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on May 3 against four of the employees accused of “unlawful misappropriation by acquisition, disclosure, unlawful misappropriation by acquisition, disclosure, and use of JLT’s confidential, proprietary and trade secret information.” The employees named in the suit are Gary Pestana, Sarah Sherman, Dustin Smith and Ramny Morcos.

The suits seek injunctive relief and damages.

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