DALLAS: A Dallas district court judge has granted Weber Shandwick a temporary restraining order against Hill+Knowlton Strategies and two senior executives who have been accused of stealing confidential information, clients, and employees from Weber.
Weber has alleged that H+K COO Ken Luce and EVP Jody Venturoni, both former Weber employees, tried to lure other former colleagues and clients to H+K despite signing agreements pledging not to do so, according to the court documents seen by PRWeek.
District Court Judge Emily Tobolowsky granted the order, which rules that the defendants must return all electronically stored, original, or copied versions of any confidential information belonging to Weber, according to court documents.
Weber alleges that Venturoni sent confidential information to a personal account from her company email address while still working for the firm, according to court filings.
Weber declined to comment on the action.
Venturoni, who joined H+K this month, was Weber's Southwest president for 13 years. Meanwhile, Luce, a 15-year veteran of Weber and former president of its Southwest and California market, resigned in fall 2010. He started work at H+K as global COO in January 2011.
The defendants have been ordered to appear in court on February 20 to plead against a temporary injunction, also filed by Weber earlier this week.
H+K declined to comment on the action. On Wednesday, the firm, via email, said it was “surprised and disappointed to learn about this action” and that it will “vigorously defend itself and promptly address and resolve this dispute.”