HCC Speciality Underwriters and Beazley Furlonge have agreed an out-of-court settlement over allegations that three former HCC employees had attempted to poach clients for Beazley.

The undisclosed settlement was reached after HCC and its US parent launched a High Court action against Beazley and three contingency underwriters, all of whom had previously worked for HCC.

HCC claimed in a writ that the former managing director of its London operations, Christopher Rackliffe,and two colleagues,had enticed away customers including the English Cricket Board.

It claimed the men had breached restrictive covenants in their contracts after they had approached former clients and offeredreduced rates.

HCC brought the action against the trio after they handed in their notice in March and February last year and moved to rival Beazley Furlonge.

HCC said the men 's actions had led to loss and damage with further losses feared.

Bill Hubbard,chief executive officer of HCC,said:"We are pleased that the matterhas now been resolved and we are very excited about our new staff and what the future holds for HCC and this class of business."