QBE's employment lawsuit declared "plainly meritless" by Applied Underwriters' general counsel

QBE's employment lawsuit declared "plainly meritless" by Applied Underwriters' general counsel | Insurance Business America

QBE's employment lawsuit declared "plainly meritless" by Applied Underwriters' general counsel

Applied Underwriters has responded to the lawsuit filed against it by QBE, calling the complaint “meritless.”

QBE had filed a petition in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for injunctive relief, naming Applied Underwriters and four of its former aviation professionals who are now Applied Underwriters employees as respondents. In the complaint, the insurer accused the four former employees of breach of contract and breach of the duty of loyalty. Applied Underwriters was also accused of tortious interference with the contracts of QBE executives. All the defendants have also been accused of misappropriation of confidential information and unfair competition.

To this complaint, Applied Underwriters has released a statement denouncing the suit.

“This lawsuit is plainly meritless and intends simply to use the actions against former employees – individuals – to try to accomplish with a nuisance suit what they could not accomplish with investment in the sector and with an effective marketing approach,” said Applied Underwriters executive vice president and general counsel Jeffrey Silver, Esq.

Silver added in his statement that the four individuals named by QBE as defendants “elected to move to Applied Underwriters of their own volition to fully develop their business specialty using Applied's resources.”

“It should be noted that to an extent, insurance professionals depend upon commissions earned through sales. The hiring process in question happened in September 2021, more than 90 days ago, making QBE's claim of purportedly irreparable harm seem to be a litigation tactic far more than a demonstrable fact,” the executive vice president stated.

“When the staff members of QBE moved to join our Company and pursue their work in the aviation field with us, it was their decision as professionals,” Silver continued. “While we welcomed them with open arms and have since seen their choice translated into a successful aviation operation, how they arrived at their decision to move from QBE, what their plans were before moving, how they communicated those plans, what the covenants were that each had in place, who their prospects were specifically, if any, and their feelings about working at QBE were all the personal business of the employees who opted for change.”

Silver also stressed that Applied Underwriters “acted ethically and openly to engage these interested insurance professionals,” and that the company did not seek, nor did it receive or need any of QBE’s confidential information.

“Our aggressive approach to new business has proved profitable for many experienced risk sector leaders across the globe, who make up the growing Applied faculty of top insurance professionals,” he prefaced. “So, while it is easy to understand the emotional impact and some of the potential financial effects of losing staff members, we believe that this matter is not lawsuit-worthy, and is waged without real merit against these men and women who are free to set their own destinies and to earn as much as possible through their talents generously rewarded when richly applied.”

Read more: Applied Underwriters forms new aerospace team

Last November, Applied Underwriters created a new aerospace team, in collaboration with former members of PartnerRe’s Direct and Facultative (D&F) Space Team. Based in Washington, D.C., the Applied Underwriters Aerospace team is led by Jon Lewis.