Weber Shandwick and Hill+Knowlton Strategies today announced the settlement of a legal suit filed by WS earlier this year against H+K and former staffers Jody Venturoni/Ken Luce, who each headed its Texas operation before joining H+K, for allegedly misappropriating documents and improperly soliciting staffers and clients.
Terms of the settlement are confidential, but WS says the deal "protects its business interests, its clients’ confidential data and its clients’ confidential information."
As part of the settlement, Venturoni issued the following statement: "During my last year of employment with Weber Shandwick and immediately after my resignation, I took confidential information belonging to Weber Shandwick. I shared some of this information with employees at Hill & Knowlton.
"This information has since been returned to Weber Shandwick or destroyed. Weber Shandwick took justified legal action to protect its own business interests and those of its clients. We have reached a confidential settlement of this matter."
H+K regrets the circumstances that led to the filing of the suit but understands that Weber Shandwick “took this action to protect its business interests. We have reached a confidential settlement of these matters.”
Elisabeth Rutledge, senior VP in H+K’s Dallas office, says the WPP unit is glad the settlement is behind it because our primary focus is our clients. We welcome a resolution to this distraction.”