SBJ/March 3-9, 2014/Law and Politics

AEG sues Legends, Mirhashemi

AEG has filed suit against Legends and its president and chief operating officer, Shervin Mirhashemi, in part over Legends’ recent hiring of ex-AEG sales executive Mike Tomon.

The complaint, filed Feb. 11 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges breach of contract by Mirhashemi tied to employment and confidentiality agreements he signed while under contract at AEG before leaving for Legends in July.

In addition, the complaint alleges tortious interference and unfair competition by Legends and Mirhashemi.

AEG is seeking compensatory and exemplary damages and demanding a jury trial, according to the legal document. No dollar amounts requested for damages are listed in the filing.

Officials with both companies declined to comment because of the pending litigation.

The case stems from Mirhashemi’s departure from AEG, where he worked for 12 years, from 2001 through mid-2013.

Mirhashemi served as part of AEG’s legal team for six years before becoming president of AEG Global Partnerships. He also held that position for six years before Legends, whose corporate office is in New York, hired him as second-in-command to Chairman Dave Checketts.

Since joining Legends last summer, Mirhashemi has opened a new West Coast office for Legends in Los Angeles, site of AEG’s headquarters.

In the lawsuit, AEG states Mirhashemi signed three agreements while he worked at the company in which he promised not to solicit AEG employees or induce them to leave, a period of time extending to one year after he left the firm.

After joining Legends, AEG alleges, Mirhashemi violated those agreements by soliciting Tomon, AEG Global Partnerships’ former senior vice president of premium sales, as well as other unnamed AEG employees, to leave the company.

“At the time of the improper solicitation, Mirhashemi knew of Tomon’s specific job duties, salary and benefits at AEG Global Partnerships, and also knew of the particular projects Tomon was working on at AEG,” the lawsuit said. “Mirhashemi improperly used and misappropriated this confidential information belonging to AEG to aid his solicitation of Tomon.”

Legends announced last week that Tomon had joined the firm as its president of North American sports and events.

According to the complaint, Tomon informed Todd Goldstein, AEG’s chief revenue officer, that he was leaving AEG effective Feb. 21 to go work for Legends for higher pay and an opportunity to invest in the company.

AEG alleges Legends assisted Mirhashemi in his attempt to hire Tomon and knew of the nonsolicitation clause contained in Mirhashemi’s AEG employment agreements.

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