BGC loses legal battle with fierce rival

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The Independent Online

A bitter legal battle between two of the City's biggest names ended today with a High Court judge ruling that BGC Partners had illegally tried to poach a string of employees from its rival Tullett Prebon.

Tullet had accused Tony Verrier, a former chief operating officer who had joined BGC as an executive, of telling its staff to claim constructive dismissal in order to link up with him at his new firm.

Tullett and BGC are longstanding foes and the court case featured a series of outlandish claims and counter claims.

Mr Justice Jack ruled yesterday that, partly motivated by ill-feeling towards his former boss, Tullet Prebon's chief executive Terry Smith, Mr Verrier had offered former colleagues at the company generous inducements to join him at BGC, and encouraged them to breach their contracts of employment.

At the heart of the case lay eight Blackberrys that Mr Verrier claimed to have lost but which BGC said would show he had sent messages to their staff as part of the plot. Mr Jack ruled: "I am satisfied that it was Mr Verrier's gambit to 'lose' Blackberrys whenever he thought they might contain inconvenient material and this his instructions were the cause of at least some of the mobiles being lost."