Marsh LLC has filed a poaching lawsuit against Lockton Cos. LLC and the officer who led its special acquisitions group, charged with non-compete violations and its solicitation of Lockton clients.
Lockton announced last month that it had recruited Machua Millett as chief innovation officer and head of alternative investments in its financial services group. He was previously Head of Innovation, FINPRO US at Marsh.
Mr. Millett signed several agreements with Marsh between 2010, when he joined the brokerage, and this year, which restricted him from soliciting certain Marsh clients for a one-year period after he left the brokerage, and barred him from using or disclosing Marsh̵7;s confidential information, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in US District Court in New York i Marsh USA Inc. v. Michael Machua Millett and Northeast Series of Lockton Cos. LLC.
The suit alleges that after he resigned from Marsh in June, he immediately began soliciting its clients, using confidential information he learned at Marsh on Lockton’s behalf.
The lawsuit alleges that Lockton’s “modus operandi” is to poach employees from its direct competitors, and that it has been a defendant in “dozens of lawsuits” by Lockton competitors making similar allegations since 2006.
In the trial, Mr. Millett for breach of contract and fiduciary duty, Lockton for tortious interference with contract, and both defendants for tortious liability in existing and future business relationships and unfair competition.
A spokeswoman for Marsh said in a statement, “It is Marsh’s policy not to comment on active litigation.” Lockton did not respond to a request for comment.
In July, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. left. filed another poaching lawsuit against Alliant Insurance Services Inc., charging that eight Chicago Gallagher employees resigned last month and immediately began seeking business from Gallagher clients.