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Bridgewater and Tekmerion, the Startup Accused of Stealing Its Secrets, End Legal Wrangling
Whether Bridgewater has paid Tekmerion’s legal fees is unknown.
The case between Bridgewater Associates and two of the founders of Tekmerion Capital Management, a small investment firm, has been resolved.
On Friday the two filed a “stipulation of discontinuance” with the New York State Supreme Court, seeking to permanently dismiss the case.
This will likely end a years-long arbitration process between Bridgewater and Tekmerion’s founders, Lawrence Minicone and Zachary Squire, two former Bridgewater employees. The parties were at odds over Bridgewater’s concerns that Minicone and Squire had breached the confidentiality agreements laid out in their original employment contracts.
“The court proceedings have been discontinued and the parties have resolved their dispute,” a spokesperson for Bridgewater said via email. Minicone and Squire’s lawyer did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Monday.
Here’s how the lengthy dispute played out.
Minicone and Squire separately left Bridgewater in 2013. A contractual noncompete required them to spend nearly four years in “Bridgewater-approved positions” after leaving the firm, court filings show. The two did, spending that time at separate investment firms.
In January 2017, they launched Tekmerion, which trades exchange-listed futures in equity indices, rates, foreign exchange, and commodities. Bridgewater executives quickly took note: Even the firm’s founder, Ray Dalio, was looped into an email chain about the tiny firm’s launch, court documents showed.
Over the course of the next nine months, Bridgewater employees, Squire, and Minicone spoke several times over the phone and in-person about resolving the dispute. The group launched a private arbitration for the “misappropriation of trade secrets, breaches of contract, and unfair competition,” court documents show.
That arbitration — undertaken with the goal of keeping the dispute private — lasted for nearly three years. However, the arbitration spilled into public view in July when Minicone and Squire’s lawyer filed court documents seeking to confirm the pair’s arbitration award of $1.99 million in legal fees.
[II Deep Dive: The Origin Story of Tekmerion, the Hedge Fund That Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Says Stole Its Trade Secrets]
The arbitration panel found that Bridgewater “manufactured false evidence” and that Bridgewater was required to cover their legal fees, according to the final award document.
Bridgewater’s filings, however, disputed this. They said that the arbitration panel allegedly found that neither side proved its claims, but in a post-hearing briefing, the panel granted the legal fees.
It’s unclear whether Bridgewater ended up paying those fees. With the case’s resolution, the public will likely never know.