Consolidator puts money where its mouth is following recent warning note to current staff

Giles has issued a legal challenge to former employee Andrew Watson and a number of colleagues, all now working for Scottish broker George Stubbs Insurance Services.

In the latest consolidator wrangle over restrictive covenants, Giles has applied for an injunction against Watson and the handful of colleagues who joined George Stubbs with him in July. The allegations are believed to centre on covenant breaches relating to client accounts.

In a statement, Giles said: “Giles can confirm that they have taken out an injunction against George Stubbs for breach of covenant. Giles has always had a robust and clear policy on restrictive covenants, and takes any breach very seriously. Where appropriate, we take action to protect our business and will continue to do so to safeguard the hard work of our team.”

The Scottish broker’s managing director George Stubbs claimed that no injunction had been served on the company and refused to comment further. Watson also declined to comment. However, the Scottish Court of Sessions confirmed that it had records of an unresolved application for an injunction from Giles against Watson.

Last month, Insurance Times reported how Giles recently sent a note to its current employees to remind them of the firms strict policy over breaches to restrictive covenants in a move to stop former members of staff attacking the company’s business.

In a separate development, Insurance Times has also learned that Giles retail managing director (south) Simon Brooke is no longer part of the executive management team.

Brooke joined Giles in November 2008 following the buy-out of his Leeds-based firm SBP Group, a £32m gross written premium broker specialising in transport insurance. Brooke joined the Giles top team following the departure of retail managing director Howard Pearson in March.

Brooke has been handed a new role with a focus on the expansion of the Giles business after the firm confirmed that it is preparing to hit the acquisition trail once again. No decision has been made on a replacement for Brooke’s previous role.

“Simon Brooke has elected to adjust his role within Giles and will now focus on M&A and servicing key clients,” said a statement from the firm.

“His knowledge and expertise from previous acquisitions in SBP will be invaluable in our drive to find and secure suitable acquisition targets as we once again step up our activity in this area, and we wish Simon every success in this new role.”

Giles was handed a war chest of around £300m by private equity backers Charterhouse in early 2008. The consolidator’s most recent deals include the retail division of James Hampden Insurance in May, one month after it completed the transfer of wholesale operation FSJ from Cooper Gay. Giles underwriting arm Ink last month acquired broker network Westinsure.