JPMorgan Chase & Co was dealt a legal setback in its dispute with a former advisor who moved to Wells Fargo Advisors, according to AdvisorHub.
A federal judge in New Jersey denied JPMorgan’s bid for a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief against Taulant Cela, who spent nine years with the firm before joining Wells Fargo last month.
JP Morgan sought to bar Cela from soliciting his former clients to his new firm, alleging that more than a dozen clients said Cela called them almost immediately after leaving to ask whether they would meet with him or consider transferring their accounts to him at Wells Fargo. JP Morgan contended that Cela had violated his employment agreement that has non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions preventing him from contacting clients for one year.
Cela denied the allegations, calling them hearsay and stating there was no evidence of him soliciting former clients. The ruling against JP Morgan was issued on March 3 “without prejudice”, with no reason given for the decision.
JP Morgan has also filed a parallel arbitration against Cela with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The firm’s complaint said Cela had worked with over 400 of its clients, overseeing $122 million of their assets. The company was seeking the return of what it called confidential client information.
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