As part of its strategy to enter a new geographical market, our client, one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, hired a group of employees in that market from another of the world’s largest insurance brokers. One of the new hires became the President of our client’s affiliate in that market. Shortly thereafter, the former employer initiated an action in Michigan state court against our brokerage client and its affiliate’s President, whom we also represented. Plaintiff alleged that the new President misappropriated confidential information and was soliciting plaintiff’s clients and employees in breach of her employment agreement’s restrictive covenants, allegedly with her new employer’s encouragement and assistance.
Months later, during the course of discovery, two of plaintiff’s corporate clients transferred their health and benefits insurance business from plaintiff to our brokerage client. Plaintiff filed an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. In its motion, plaintiff sought to enjoin our clients not only from soliciting, accepting, and servicing business from plaintiff’s current or prospective clients, but also from servicing the two clients that had already moved their business.
In the span of a little more than a week, the GEABP team drafted a 20-page opposition brief and secured three supporting affidavits, two of which were provided by the non-parties who had transferred their business from plaintiff to our brokerage client. When plaintiff submitted an untimely and improper reply brief less than 48 hours before the hearing, we – less than 24 hours later – submitted opposition in response to that brief as well.
The preliminary injunction hearing was held remotely via Zoom. After hearing oral argument, the judge gave his ruling from the bench, adopting all of our key arguments and denying plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief in its entirety. The case settled shortly thereafter.