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AssuredPartners sues fired broker over non-compete clause



A unit of AssuredPartners Inc. earlier this month sued a broker it fired and his new employer for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement.

According to newspapers in AssuredPartners of North Carolina LLC v. Stanley W. Park and Towne Insurance Agency LLCfiled in federal court in Greensboro, North Carolina, Stan Park and his three business partners sold their agency to Orlando, Florida-based AssuredPartners for $20 million in 2017.

Mr. Park worked at AssuredPartners after the sale but was terminated for cause earlier this year and, in anticipation of the expected layoff, Mr. Park deleted spreadsheets and data related to the brokerage firm’s clients, court papers say.

At a March 1

termination meeting, AssuredPartners offered him severance on the condition that he confirm various non-compete, non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements. “Despite knowing he had stolen significant trade secret information from AP just 48 hours earlier, Park signed the agreement and accepted the payments,” the lawsuit states.

Mr. Park joined rival Norfolk, Va.-based Towne Insurance Agency LLC, the 54th largest brokerage of U.S. companies, according to Business insurances ranking, and immediately began recruiting AssuredPartners clients, court papers state. AssuredPartners became aware of two clients moving to Towne.

AssuredPartners raised its concerns with Towne, who agreed that Mr. Park would “stand down” while the issue was resolved. Towne later acknowledged that eight former AssuredPartners clients had moved to Towne and another seven would move.

“Towne also threatened that it would only wait for the final maneuvers to convert the additional AP clients to Towne Insurance clients if AP continued to ‘participate in negotiations’ with Towne Insurance to resolve the matter without litigation,” the lawsuit states .

AssuredPartners filed suit against Towne and Mr. Park on Sept. 16 seeking injunctions against Towne using confidential information and seeking damages.

Attorneys for AssuredPartners and Towne did not respond to requests for comment.


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