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Bluefin sues former IFA for £1m

Bluefin is suing a former IFA for £1m alleging that he poached clients and set up a new firm while still under contract.

Bluefin, 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 62 clients then moved to Yew Tree.

Bluefin says it lost about £1m in profits as a result and is therefore suing Condon for the lost profits.

Condon declined to comment, and Bluefin was unavailable for comment.

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The clients obviously went with him as the respected the service he gave them. They were offerd a choice, stay or go, most went. Can’t see how this can be deemed anything other than mandating clients who have dealt with him in the past?

  2. £1m in lost profits? It’d be interesting to see how Bluefin has arrived at that kind of figure in respect of just 54 clients. Most IFA practices would be extremely happy (and maybe extremely unscrupulous) if they could make £1m in profits (turnover less expenses) for just 54 clients. Mr Condon may well argue that the 54 clients in question switched agency because they felt they were being massively overcharged by Layton Blackham.

    And then, of course, Bluefin has to prove enticement, which is notoriously difficult unless their contract of engagement prohibits for any dealings whatsoever with any of “their” clients. The bottom line, as always, is that it’s the client who decides who’s to be their adviser, not the other way round.

    Furthermore, how many clients who’ve decided to defect from Layton Blackham are going to want to become embroiled in a legal dispute and testify against Yew Tree ~ they just aren’t going to want to know, are they?

  3. Julian, I think a bit more background on this is needed, I have read elsewhere that the adviser sold the business to Bluefin and signed a contract passing ownership of the clents over, then whilst working for Bluefin he set up the new company, therefore breaching the contract already established. A case of having his cake so to speak as he got a sum for the client sale then moved them afterwards. I wouldn’t be surprised if BF were going for lost income whilst he was employed then future income/trail too as well as the buyout fee that they gave him in the first place. I think the usual client ownership debate is not so applicable here as it would appear that the adviser in this case has acted unscrupulously.

  4. To James Khan ~ your point is well made. If this is what Mr Condon did, then Bluefin may well feel entitled to throw at him everything they’ve got.

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