Stellwagen takes ex-employees to court

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 13, 2017 09:22

Stellwagen takes ex-employees to court

After the high-profile resignation of three of its top executives, Stellwagen chief Douglas Brennan has won an interim high court injunction (STELLWAGEN GROUP LIMITED & ORS -V- MILLAR & ORS 2017/9186 P) against his former employees preventing them from disclosing information on Stellwagen to others and from interfering in its relationship with clients. The three defendants – Howard Millar, Edward Hansom and Edward Coughlan – who resigned from the company in September (click here for the Airline Economics newsletter article, are also prevented from deleting any information or data belong to Stellwagen, and from representing the company in any way.

Airline Economics did not see the contents of the affidavit but the case has been widely reported in the Irish media. Brennan alleges that the three ex-employees were working to put in place plans for a new leasing company, Airgreen, and were alleged to be seeking to divert business away from Stellwagen. Details of the new leasing company are alleged to have been found on a company laptop after a forensic examination. The paper also points to the three allegedly misrepresenting the progress Stellwagen had made towards a deal with the Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) to set up a leasing business in the United Arab Emirates as slow, which was later found by Stellwagen to have been much further advanced.

The defendants will be back in court on Tuesday to present their defence. Brennan indicates in his affidavit that Millar has accused him of constrictive dismissal during a board meeting on August 31, which Brennan denies.

Well there you go! This is a lesson for all senior leasing executives looking for new horizons. The reality is that this is a common practice when you take account of the amount of senior executives have moved companies to start up on their own over the past decade. It is very likely that most of them discussed plans ahead of making a move – some have been sued and others not. At the end of the day the aviation sector is built more upon relationships than most other industries. Aviation people very rarely leave the sector and so the faces move around but do not change. This dynamic inflates wages but it also makes contracts of employment very tight indeed. As in all areas of life, you have to know what you are signing when entering an agreement and when coming out at the other end. This saga is going to be both messy for all sides for at least the next week or so. For my part, I hope that all parties can come out of this ready to do business again and I am sure you will all agree with that.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 13, 2017 09:22