The Court of Appeal (CoA) has rejected an appeal by City broker BGC that it had not acted unlawfully when it conspired to poach senior staff from rival Tullett Prebon.
The judgment, handed down by Lord Justice Maurice Kay, found the ruling delivered by Mr Justice Jack in the High Court last March to be “meticulous” (The Lawyer 18 March 2010).
The decision gives a win to 11KBW’s Daniel Oudkerk QC who was instructed to lead for Tullett Prebon in the CoA by Rosenblatt partner Clive Hyer.
McDermott Will & Emery instructed Essex Court Chambers’ Andrew Hochhauser QC to lead Littleton Chambers’ Jonathan Cohen for the appellants.
The original action was launched against BGC Partners and former senior Tullett Prebon executive Anthony Verrier, who left to join BGC, in 2008. The High Court found that BGC was liable for damages after inducing 10 brokers to break their contracts with Tullett Prebon.
BGC appealed the finding, arguing the first instance judge was wrong to rule that it acted unlawfully and wrong to say that three Tullett Prebon brokers who had originally intended to leave for BGC but then changed their minds were entitled to do so because of BGC’s illegal and dishonest behaviour.
A further appeal against Jack J’s ‘no poach’ injunction, which prevented BGC from hiring Tullett Prebon staff for a year, was dropped.
The CoA unanimously rejected the appeal. Tullett Prebon’s claim for damages will be heard by Jack J in the High Court next month.