City brokers ‘poaching’ case gets underway in High Court

Interdealer broker Tullett Prebon is suing BGC Partners and a number of former employees over what it claims was an illegal plot by BGC to poach staff.

Tullett, represented by Rosenblatt Solicitors, says the plan was masterminded by former Tullett chief executive Tony Verrier, who joined BGC this year.

Representing Tullett in court last week, 11KBW barrister Daniel Oudkerk said Verrier and BGC president Shaun Lynn recruited “sergeants” at Tullett to persuade others to defect, and set aside more than £40m to attract the “crown jewels” of the rival company.

Verrier is being represented by Stuart Ritchie of Littleton Chambers and Russell Jones & Walker partner John Marshall.

It is alleged by Tullet that Marshall was also instructed to put together what Oudkerk said was a series of “sham” constructive dismissal claims to help the brokers escape their contractual obligations, although these allegations are denied.

BGC and Lynn were represented in court by Littleton silk Andrew Clarke QC alongside McDermott Will & Emery employment partner Katie Clark.

The 10 Tullett brokers named in the action, who have been prevented from starting work at BGC by an injunction, have instructed Selwyn Bloch QC, also of Littleton, and Berwin Leighton Paisner partner Rebecca Harding-Hill.

Rosenblatt partner Clive Hyer is leading the team acting for Tullett.