J.P. Morgan Securities yesterday filed a request for a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief against Lewis Duncan, a dually registered advisor formerly based in the asset manager’s Flint, Mich., office, who jumped to Ameriprise Financial Services earlier this month.

According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Michigan, Duncan began soliciting clients to make the move with him the day after his July 8 resignation and has continued to do so at Ameriprise.

Attempts to reach J.P. Morgan and Duncan were unsuccessful by press time.

This is the fourth such complaint filed since last Monday, with five private client advisors going to Ameriprise, Wells Fargo and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. If successful, the court decisions would prevent the advisors from transferring any more clients pending arbitration before a Finra panel.

The filing flurry began July 19 with a complaint against Seth Chamberlain in Mesa, Ariz., who went to Ameriprise. Then on July 20, J.P. Morgan filed a complaint against David Anderson in Rochester, Mich., who went to Stifel. And on July 21, the firm did the same with the wife-husband duo Samira Arikat and Brian Armstrong in Scottsdale, Ariz., who joined Wells Fargo.

According to these filings and Duncan's, $196 million in AUM has already been transferred to these J.P. Morgan competitors, and there is a potential total of some $890 million more at risk.

As of Monday, Arikat and Armstrong reached an agreement with J.P. Morgan to maintain the client status quo pending their Finra arbitration, and their U.S. District Court complaint was dropped.

All these legal actions have one thing in common: The advisors held the title “private client advisor,” a job which J.P. Morgan expressly describes as one where the advisor sits at a desk in a branch office and works with existing J.P. Morgan clients. It is not part of their job to bring in new clients and build a book of business, the complaints have insisted, stating these advisors were “not expected to engage in cold calling or attempt to build a client base independent of referrals from JPMorgan.”

Also as part of their jobs, the advisors sign one-year, non-solicitation agreements that restrict their communications with J.P. Morgan clients upon resignation to only notifying the clients of a job change.

Duncan’s complaint alleges breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition.

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