Monday, August 31, 2015

Surety wars: Ace sues to block hiring 'conspiracy': Update

Team quits and joins the competition; their old boss cries foul

Surety wars: Ace sues to block hiring 'conspiracy': Update

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(Adds comment from defendant OneBeacon) Minnesota-based OneBeacon Insurance Co. said last week it had hired Philadelphia-based Chad Anderson, past head of rival Ace Ltd.'s commercial-surety insurance group, to head its own new surety business, which insures corporations against specialized risks.

But were they free to go? Last month, Ace filed this lawsuit (posted at www.Ace-Insurance-Litigation.com) asked the federal court in Philadelphia to block the move, and demands cash damages "in excess of $75,000."

Excerpt: "OneBeacon conspired with eight Ace employees to steal Ace trade secrets while they were still employed by Ace and deliver them to One Beacon upon their coordinated resignations from Ace," they destroyed emails "to cover up their wrongdoing."

Ace, represented by lawyer Daniel P. O'Meara and colleagues at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, Philadelphia, says the employees took proprietary customer material and that Anderson failed to inform his Ace bosses that he planned to leave, both in violation of Pennsylvania law, which requires a "duty of loyalty" to one's employer.

Ace's suit is "b
eing vigorously defended. We are confident that ultimately the courts will find in our favor for the simple reason that OneBeacon and its new employees have not done anything wrong," says OneBeacon spokeswoman Carmen Duarte.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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