AIB granted some orders against former executives

The High Court has granted AIB certain, but not all, orders it sought against its former executives and a rival company the bank claims conspired to take over the clients, business and staff of AIB's International Financial Services (IFS) business.

AIB sought injunctions against six former employees and a number of European based financial services companies from using what the bank claims is confidential information and from approaching IFS's clients for a significant period of time pending the full hearing of the trial.

The six are: Pat Diamond, Elton Park, Sandycove in Dublin; Aidan Foley, formerly of Grawn, Kilmacthomas, Wexford; Gerry McEvoy, formerly of Shandon Park, Phibsboro, Dublin; Derek O'Reilly of Fernleigh Drive, Castleknock, Dublin; Andrew O'Shea, formerly of Ashbrook House, Julianstown, Co Meath; and Joe Walsh, formerly of Grosvenor Terrace, Monkstown, Co Dublin.

The bank also brought proceedings against Centralis SA based in Luxembourg, Centralis Switzerland and Centralis Hungary, which AIB claims were also involved in the plan.

The bank's application was opposed by the defendants.

In his ruling today, Mr Justice Frank Clarke said he was prepared to grant the bank certain orders against some of the defendants.

The Judge made an order prohibiting Mr Foley, Mr McEvoy and Mr O'Reilly and the Corporate defendants from soliciting any employees or clients of AIB IFS for a period of six months.

This order, the Judge added, only applies to clients of AIB IFS who were allegedly solicited by the defendants, and not to those clients who had themselves initiated contact with the defendants without being solicited.

The Judge said it was not appropriate to make orders against Mr Diamond, Mr Walsh or Mr O'Shea.

The Judge further ruled that he was not prepared to make an order prohibiting the use by the defendants of what AIB claims is confidential information.

The terms of the order being sought, the Judge said, were "too wide", and it was unclear what was claimed to be "confidential information and what was not". He said that the order sought by AIB could lead to confusion.

The Judge invited AIB to resubmit its application in the regard, which the parties could consider before the matter returns before the court.

The Judge, who said he would give the full reasons behind his decision later this week, adjourned the matter to early next week to allow the parties consider his ruling.

In it actions, AIB has claimed the executives unlawfully conspired with a rival business to take over the clients, business and staff of AIB's IFS business when it moved last June to sell it to another group, Capita.

It is claimed that the the executives put a scheme known as "Plan B" into operation after a management buyout of IFS did not take place.

The bank claims that Capita reduced its offer for IFS from €55m to €33m after 25 directors and employees left IFS between June and August.

The defendants deny AIB's claims. They reject any wrongdoing or that confidential information belonging to AIB was passed on to a rival.

They also claim AIB's actions were preventing the corporate defendants from competing against IFS.

The defendants also claim that there was no non-compete clause contained in their contract of employment.


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