The so-called war for talent in the insurance sector continued in 2022 with lawsuits alleging breach of noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements being a regular consequence of the competition for staff.
In one example, Marsh LLC filed a poaching lawsuit in August against rival Lockton Cos. LLC and the official who led its special purpose acquisition group, charging violation of noncompete agreements and solicitation of Marsh clients.
Lockton had announced in July that it had recruited Machua Millett as chief innovation officer and alternative investment practice leader in its financial services group. He was previously chief innovation officer, FINPRO U.S., at Marsh.
Mr. Millett signed several nonsolicitation agreements with Marsh between 2010, when he joined the brokerage, and this year, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York in Marsh USA Inc. v. Michael Machua Millett and Northeast Series of Lockton Cos. LLC.
The story about Marsh’s filing of the lawsuit was the sixth most read risk management-related story on Business Insurance’s website in 2022.
The lawsuit charged that after he resigned from Marsh in June, Mr. Millett immediately began soliciting its clients and using confidential information he learned at Marsh on Lockton’s behalf.
It also charged that Lockton’s “modus operandi” is to poach employees from its direct competitors and said the broker has been a defendant in “dozens” of lawsuits since 2006 in which competitors have made similar allegations, according to the lawsuit, which is ongoing.
Meanwhile, several states have enacted laws barring noncompete agreements, and more are expected to do so.