In ‘déjà vu’ moment, judge asks Aon to submit documents in Miami ‘mass resignation’ case
Judge William Thomas has put pressure on Aon to hand over certain documents related to the collapsed Willis Tower Watson merger, as part of a legal talent war between the broker and its rival Marsh.
Aon will have around one month to hand over certain documents related to the collapsed deal as part of the discovery phase in the “mass resignation” case in South Florida.
During a hearing earlier on Tuesday, Judge William Thomas pressured Aon to deliver the information Marsh requested by early December. Marsh has asked for documents pertaining to employee or client departures.
Two weeks ago, however, Judge Thomas ordered Marsh to submit any relevant documents Aon had requested, as part of the ongoing dispute over the alleged orchestrated resignation of 44 employees, who abandoned the broking giant to join Marsh in a matter of days.
Now, in a “déjà vu” moment, Judge Thomas has put similar pressure on Aon, as Marsh claimed that the employees who left the broker in Miami last summer joined Marsh following Aon’s “ill-conceived and (now abandoned) plan to merge with competitor Willis Towers Watson”.
“This should sound like déjà vu because it's exactly what I told the other side two weeks ago,” the judge said.
He added: “It's just the way it works. There's no other way to do this.”
Still, certain documents will remain sealed as they could contain “highly sensitive information,” as described by lawyers in the hearing.
For instance, Marsh asked for a “damage analysis” Excel spreadsheet from two Aon senior executives, which included information about former Aon employees, along with an economic analysis of the financial impact of the departures.
Marsh has argued that the failed mega-merger caused uncertainty among Aon employees, who decided to leave the firm, and has denied any wrongdoing.
Aon sued Marsh last summer, accusing the defectors of violating notice periods and non-solicitation agreements, as well as stealing confidential information.
The lawsuit accuses Michael Parrish of masterminding the raid, despite Parrish still being a paid Aon employee then.
Both companies declined to comment.