On Thursday, Alliant Insurance Services Inc. accused rival broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. for "forum shopping and judge shopping" to sue for alleged staffing in a state court in Delaware earlier this week.
Attempts to get the case removed to federal court, Newport Beach, California-based Alliant also claimed that its private equity owner Stone Point Capital LLC would be dropped from the dispute between the brokers.
Gallagher sued Alliant in Delaware & # 39 ;s Chancery Court on Monday. and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. against Alliant Insurance Services Inc. and Stone Point Capital LLC claiming that Alliant had taken 39 Gallagher employees and more than 80 customers into an illegal poaching system.
Gallagher claimed that Alliant encouraged the former Gallagher brokers and support staff to break non-resolution agreements and bring previous clients with them when they joined Alliant for higher salaries, which Gallagher claims was facilitated by capital from Stone Point.
Gallagher said it could bring the case to Delaware State Court, which had previously ruled against the Alliant in a poaching dispute with Lockton Cos. LLC., Because it was domiciled in the state and that Alliant was domiciled there when it began recruiting Gallagher staff last year. Alliant was sent to California earlier this year.
In its application on Thursday, Alliant argued that the case should be moved to the federal court in Delaware. According to the proposal, Gallagher had previously sued Alliant for the alleged recruitment system in state courts in California, Florida and Texas. The measures are ongoing, but in the Texas case, a judge rejected Gallagher's application for a temporary restraining order, says the Alliant notice of removal.
"This case has nothing to do with Delaware. Neither party has an office in Delaware. Nobody has employees in Delaware. None of the employees who left Gallagher worked in Delaware. No Delaware court has personal jurisdiction over Alliant, court documents say.
Gallagher seeks a "transfer" of the complaints filed in other states before Delaware Deputy Chancellor J. Travis Laster, who ruled in the Lockton case. , says the court.
In addition, Stone Point, which is Alliant's largest shareholder and holds several board seats, should not be included in the dispute, Alliant argues.
“The classic corporate structure does not create responsibility. Otherwise, all private equity sponsors would always be taken to court for alleged actions by their portfolio companies. What the complaint lacks is an allegation that Stone Point actually had knowledge or participation in any of the alleged behavior in question, court documents say.
A Gallagher spokesman said the broker did not comment on ongoing disputes.