Portofino Applied sciences, a Swiss-based start-up based by Alex Casimo and Leonard Lancia, has filed a movement to dismiss a lawsuit introduced towards them by Citadel Securities.
The movement asserts that Citadel’s authorized motion is an try to intimidate different staff and intervene with Portofino’s enterprise operations, based on a latest report from Insider.
The authorized battle between the 2 corporations started when Citadel Securities Europe filed a case in London in June 2022, alleging that Casimo and Lancia violated their employment agreements by soliciting Citadel Securities staff.
Portofino has denied these claims, saying that Citadel’s case is “unmeritorious, anticompetitive, and a basic instance of company bullying.”
Not content material with the authorized proceedings in Europe, Citadel Securities additionally initiated authorized motion towards Portofino in the US.
In Might of this 12 months, Citadel sued the start-up in New York, accusing the founders of stealing commerce secrets and techniques and deceiving their colleagues about their actions and intentions.
Portofino responded by characterizing Citadel’s lawsuit as baseless and an try to stifle competitors.
Dispute Must be Resolved in Europe
In its movement to dismiss the US lawsuit, Portofino argued that the dispute must be resolved in Europe since Citadel’s European arm initiated authorized proceedings in London first.
Portofino emphasised the necessity to conclude the London case expeditiously to proceed its day-to-day operations with out interference from Citadel Securities.
The corporate additional added that there isn’t any proof to assist Citadel’s claims of commerce secret theft, claiming that these allegations had been meant to intimidate different Citadel Securities staff who could also be contemplating leaving the corporate.
Per the movement, in December 2021 “Citadel Europe’s outdoors counsel started “demanding data from Portofino and its founders, and shortly after started shaking down Portofino’s recruiters, buyers, and potential buyers for details about Portofino, together with by threatening litigation.”
Citadel Claims Casimo and Lancia Secretly Launched Crypto Agency
In response to Citadel Securities, Casimo and Lancia, whereas nonetheless employed on the firm, secretly created and launched their very own crypto market-making agency.
The corporate mentioned they lied to their colleagues and arranged clandestine investor conferences the place they highlighted the benefits and entry they’d gained from their affiliation with Citadel Securities.
“Additional, their try to improperly poach Vincent Prieur, a New York-based worker described because the ‘aggregator of all issues crypto’ at Citadel Securities, is undisputed,” the corporate instructed Insider.
“We have now a protracted monitor document of supporting staff who select to start out their very own companies – however after they overtly have interaction in deception to take action, we are going to maintain them accountable.”
It’s price noting that Vincent Prieur, who later joined Portofino, was beforehand concerned in a authorized dispute with Citadel Securities.
Bloomberg reported that the case between Prieur and Citadel Securities was in the end resolved by way of an out-of-court settlement.