Bridgewater Loses Trade Secret Case Against Former Employees

Bridgewater Associates LP lost a case it brought against two former employees, whom it accused of misappropriating trade secrets, breach of contract and unfair competition.

An arbitration tribunal found that Bridgewater’s trade-secret claims were brought in bad faith, according to a request filed Monday by the former employees, Lawrence Minicone and Zachary Squire, in New York state court to file the arbitration award publicly.

Minicone and Squire, both now with Tekmerion Capital Management LP, were awarded $2 million in attorneys fees and other costs for having to defend against Bridgewater’s allegations, according to the filing. Bridgewater, the world’s biggest hedge fund, is contesting the amount of the award and the arbitration tribunal’s authority to issue it, not the finding that the former employees didn’t misappropriate trade secrets, according to the two men.

Bridgewater had no immediate comment on the filing. But in a July 3 filing, the hedge fund said even though it believes the arbitrators were mistaken and it proved its trade-secret and contract clams, it accepted the panel’s decision.

The arbitration tribunal found that the purported trade secrets weren’t trade secrets at all, but publicly available information, and that Bridgewater knew that, according to the filing. The tribunal also concluded that Bridgewater manufactured false evidence to support its claim and that Bridgewater brought the claims to undermine the former employees’ competing fund because they had to disclose the dispute to potential investors.

Both Minicone and Squire left Bridgewater in 2013. Four years after they left, and two years after their non-compete clauses had expired, Bridgewater started binding arbitration proceedings against them, according to the filing.

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