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Ross to appoint mediator in AJ Gallagher dispute

Former AJ Gallagher (AJG) international CEO David Ross, who recently defected to rival broker Towergate, is to appoint a mediator in an increasingly bitter dispute with his former employer.

Court documents obtained by The Insurance Insider revealed that the three defendants - all former Gallagher executives - were set to appoint a mediator by the end of June.

Mediation proceedings are held in private and it is not yet known whether a mediator has been appointed, but a formal appointment could be a sign that the parties are willing to settle the dispute before it goes to a full trial.

In court documents issued on 12 June, the three defendants - Ross, Mark Mugge and Christopher Keey - agreed to pick one of three mediators chosen by Gallagher.

If the defendants are unable to agree a counsel to resolve the dispute, the court will appoint one. The two-day private proceedings are expected to take place in late September or early October.

However, some industry sources have said that a settlement is unlikely as both parties are keen to have their day in court.

A trial had been slated to take place this month. However, in June the hearing was pushed back until February next year after a slew of mudslinging by both sides highlighted the complexity of the underlying dispute.

Originally, AJ Gallagher filed a case against Ross seeking an injunction after his defection to Sierra Investment Holdings - the vehicle established by Highbridge Capital to buy Towergate.

But the case quickly progressed, with AJ Gallagher filing a second set of papers alleging that Ross went behind its back to negotiate a Towergate deal for Highbridge when he was supposed to be working to secure the transaction for AJ Gallagher.

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