The group alleges that Lewis, former director and general manager of its Lincoln office, is responsible for a spate of “inherently suspicious” client transfers to competitor Romero following his exit from the company.
PIB alleged that a “substantial number” of the group's clients continued to transfer business to Romero following Lewis’ exit and that the volume of transfers from one book of business to a single new broker was out of the ordinary, as was the timing of such transfers.
Lewis denied “any involvement” in the transfers and claimed that he had a job offer outside of insurance. Yet despite this, PIB alleged in the court document that he had informed a PIB colleague that “he was leaving to join Romero”.
Further allegations include that Lewis had deleted call records, instant messages and other contact information prior to the collection of his company devices and that he had “failed to be open and honest… regarding his intentions or actions and/or the competitive threat posed by Romero vis-à-vis the lost clients”.
PIB alleges that the motive for the allegations was fuelled by accusations that the broker used ’bullying tactics’ and 'managed out’ Lewis after a long period of service.
A separate case against former account director, Dimitrios Grigoriou, now at Movo Glamorgan, alleged that he had acted in breach of duties by “soliciting and/or dealing with restricted clients.”
Following his resignation from the group in April 2021, Grigoriou had a “restricted period” up to May 5, 2022, but continued to deal with at least 16 clients during the period who then moved their business to Movo, PIB alleged. PIB further alleged that he had wrongly retained or misused confidential information.
Grigoriou denied PIB’s allegations, with his defence filing that "It is denied that the defendant has breached any duty that is owed [to PIB] … at all." Grigoriou further denied that he had access to and has not used any trade secrets from PIB and that the particulars of claim do not allege this.
The defence document alleged: “In the circumstances, the defendant is unable to plead fully to the claim for compensation for moral prejudice, but it is denied that either claimant has suffered moral prejudice.
“In any event, the claimants have failed to take reasonable steps under the circumstances to keep secret any confidential information or alleged trade secret to which the defendant had access.”
PIB (Group Services) and PIB Risk Services were both listed as claimants. Romero and Movo Glamorgan were not listed as defendants.