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James Hay accuses former employees of poaching clients

James Hay has issued legal proceedings against former director Richard Mattison accusing his SSAS business of poaching clients.

Mattison (pictured) left James Hay in September last year. In January, Money Marketing reported that Mattison and Jane Davies, who was previously business development manager at James Hay, had bought Manchester-based firm Whitehall Group.

James Hay managing director Tim Sargisson says he believes Mattison and Davies have used James Hay’s data to obtain SSAS client details and attempt to persuade them to appoint Whitehall as trustee.

He says: “We have served a claim against Whitehall and their two directors Richard Mattison and Jane Davies. We believe they have used our data to poach clients.

“My view is that Whitehall would not have knowledge of these client details having not worked for James Hay or IPS.

“We will do what we can to protect our position. Mattison and Davies will now file a defence and we will see what that says.

“We think we have a reasonably strong case that Whitehall has directly lifted our data in order to approach James Hay clients. We have had around 10 clients contact us saying they have been approached by Whitehall and we know a number have also switched from James Hay to Whitehall.”

Mattison and Davies were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. If clients are aggrevated by the approach of the former directors, is it not they themselves who have a case for a breach of data protection, rather than the firm?

  2. It would be hard to prove unless the approach was clearly made in the knowledge that the clients had an existing SSAS and even then I am sure there would be plenty of sources to obtain this information.

    If a mass mailing was done to companies likely to have a SSAS this is normal business practice. I bet James Hay have done it themselves!

    I would be surprised if these clients haven’t been contacted by other SSAS providers in the past on the off chance they had a SSAS that they could take over.

    PS Data Protection covers personal not business information.

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