The last chapter of a four-and-a-half-year court battle that pitted Brown & Brown (Brown) against key executives who went on to form Foundation Risk Partners, Inc. (FRP) has finally come to a decisive end and clear victory for FRP and its executives.
Brown & Brown filed lawsuits against FRP, Charlie Lydecker, Tom Tinsley, Alan Florez and Ben Barbieri accusing its former executives of planning and preparing to start a new company while still employed, as well as stealing trade secrets to support its launch.
In total, there were 28 counts in the lawsuits, resulting in hundreds of thousands of pages of documents exchanged, computers scoured and 36 separate depositions over 50 days – all in search of some justification for bringing these cases. At trial, the court found that there wasn’t sufficient credible evidence to support Brown’s claims and ruled in favor of the executives.
In December of 2022, the court determined that the executives were entitled to recover the amount of their attorneys’ fees and costs from Brown, which lead to Brown paying a multi-seven-figure-dollar payment to FRP. Brown appealed the court’s rulings, but in June of this year, they offered to pay rather than continue the fight.
To avoid further meritless appeals and the inevitable continued legal wrangling, FRP agreed to Brown’s offer and settled. The matter has been fully and finally resolved, and this chapter in FRP’s story comes to an end.
Tom Leek, FRP Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President stated, “This subsequent settlement brings us closure and allows the healing process to begin. The action brought on by Brown was always a lawsuit in search of a claim, but in the end, the Court agreed with us.”
“I am proud of our legal team, executive leadership and our growing family of team members who have stood on the side of truth versus these meritless claims,” said FRP Chairman and CEO Charlie Lydecker. “We will always vigorously defend ourselves. Our reputation is too important.”