LONDON Swiss bank UBS AG UBSN.VX told
London's High Court that rival start-up Vestra Wealth, backed
by U.S. bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N), had illegally poached its
staff and gained a headstart in attracting its clients.
On Friday, UBS sought a "springboard" injunction against
Vestra after 75 of UBS's wealth managers resigned for the
start-up since May. Vestra is 20 percent-owned by Goldman and
was set up by UBS's former top private banker in Britain David
The injunction, if granted, would stop Vestra from
soliciting or dealing with any of UBS's clients and remaining
employees until October, when a trial can be held.
Vestra's lawyers said a springboard injunction would
resulting Vestra and UBS missing out on business because those
UBS clients wishing to change would leave UBS but would not be
able to move to Vestra.
The judge is due to make a decision on Monday.
Goldman officials were not immediately available for
UBS is also suing four senior employees departing for
Vestra for what it said was a secret plot to encourage more UBS
staff to move to Vestra and to take their clients with them.
"The enormity of the damage created by those wrongs has to
be met with an order that is going to be effective ... to
prevent Vestra from reaping the fruits of its wrongs," UBS's
lawyer Alistair McGregor told the court.
Last month, a senior UBS executive said the bank, which has
been accused of helping some U.S. clients to evade taxes, would
stop offering cross-border private banking through its
unregulated units to U.S.-domiciled customers.
Vestra said UBS employees had left for the start-up,
alongside recent departures for other competitors, because of
dissatisfaction with the state of UBS's business and denied
that there was an illegal plan to poach UBS staff and clients.
"There are no grounds for preventing Vestra from competing
for the business of UBS's clients. UBS's actions are designed
to destroy the business that I have created," Scott said in a
UBS Wealth Management in Britain has around 300 client
advisers and roughly 37 billion pounds ($73.38 billion) in
(Editing by Toni Reinhold)