Bluefin is suing a former IFA for £1m over allegations that he poached clients and set up a new firm while still under contract.
Bluefin, which is the parent company of Layton Blackham Financial Services, has issued a High Court writ against former director Sean Condon, who resigned from Layton Blackham in December 2009.
The writ alleges that Condon set up a new firm, Yew Tree Financial Planning, while still working for Layton Blackham.
It claims that 54 out of 62 clients then moved to Yew Tree.
Bluefin claims it lost about £1m in profits as a result.
Condon and Bluefin declined to comment on the issue.
Lanson public affairs and regulatory consulting director Richard Hobbs says: “Contract-based disputes happen all the time. The issue over the poaching of clients is a difficult one because there may be a contract in place but the relationship exists between the client and the individual adviser. The network may have the legal control but it is difficult for them to exert in practice.”
Barlow, Lyde and Gilbert partner Nick Dent says: “It does not surprise me that this kind of thing might be happening. These kinds of allegations can be very difficult for networks to prove, especially if there is no material evidence such as emails.”