Broker Protocol and the Case of ‘Mr. Q’

Fisher Phillips attorney wins $1.25M arbitration award for Charles Schwab

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A Denver-based attorney helped investment firm Charles Schwab Corporation win a $1.25 million award in arbitration over a trade secrets misappropriation dispute with Morgan Stanley.

Mike Greco, regional managing partner of Fisher Phillips’ Denver office, represented Schwab at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Office of Dispute Resolution in Los Angeles. The FINRA panel found that Morgan Stanley “maliciously and willfully” misappropriated trade secrets when it recruited and hired a former Schwab financial consultant, according to the executed award document finalized Nov. 2.

The case also exemplifies a sub-genre of trade secrets- and restrictive covenant-related litigation that’s unique to the finance industry.

The case centers around a financial consultant, identified in the award document as “Mr. Q,” who had been a Schwab employee for five years when he quit his position in its Pasadena, California, office in June 2015. According to Schwab’s statement of claim, Mr. Q joined competitor Morgan Stanley and, using contact information of clients he served at Schwab, began soliciting those clients for his new employer. Schwab alleged that Morgan Stanley, during the recruitment process, had required Mr. Q to provide it with client metrics associated with his practice at Schwab.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the November 20, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.