APA Accuses Gersh Of Poaching

Another pair of agencies are headed to court over poaching claims. Agency for the Performing Arts filed separate suits Sept. 1 against Gersh Agency and agent Garrett Smith, claiming the company poached the agent less than two months after he’d agreed to a one-year contract extension.  

The suits claim Smith accepted the extension, which would have run through Sept. 23, 2017, on June 17 only to allegedly quit and accept an employment offer from Gersh on Aug. 3. The complaint against Smith alleges the agent “solicited certain of [APA’s] employees and encouraged them to terminate their employment with [APA] and accept employment at Gersh.”

In the complaint against Gersh, Smith is accused of “diverting [APA’s] existing and prospective client relationships and business opportunities to [Gersh].” The suit against Gersh also claims that the agency had been “specifically advised” by APA that Smith was under exclusive contract for the duration of the employment agreement, including that of the contract extension.

Against Smith, APA alleges breaches of contract, good faith, fiduciary duty and loyalty, and unfair competition. It seeks actual and punitive damages, legal costs, attorneys fees and a prejudgment interest. It also seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting Smith from working for, or soliciting others to work for, Gersh during the term of the extended employment agreement. APA accuses Gersh of intentional interference with contractual and prospective economic relations, and unfair competition.

As with the Smith suit, it seeks damages, costs, attorneys fees, prejudgment interest and a permanent injunction prohibiting Gersh from retaining Smith’s services.