Dispute is fourth to be successfully contested in past three years

Oval has secured a “significant” out-of-court settlement following a dispute with Liverpool-based broker Butterworth Spengler.

Oval said two former account executives breached the conditions of their restrictive covenants when they joined Butterworth.

Oval’s regional managing director, Steve Penketh, said: “We take this breach of contract very seriously and will always seek to enforce our covenants in a very robust way.

“All Oval employees sign similar contracts, and are fully aware of the conditions and the consequences should they seek to ignore any material part of the agreement.”

In May, Butterworth Spengler announced the appointment of three former Oval account executives: Andrew Thomson, Alan Tune and James Jaycock. Butterworth Spengler was unavailable to comment.

Oval said it is the fourth dispute in the past three years that it has successfully contested.

In 2008, Oval was awarded a six-figure sum in compensation, following successful court proceedings against rival broker Berkeley Burke, after the defection of four former Oval employees.

Later in the same year, Oval was awarded another six-figure sum in an out-of-court settlement following proceedings against broker Southall Harries, after former Oval employee Marc Harries formed Southall Harries and breached a restricted covenant agreement.

Other major consolidators – including Giles – have adopted tough stances over former employees who breach their restrictive covenants.