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ICM Sues to Block Abate Move to Endeavor

Whoa, just a few days after Variety’s reporting of Richard Abate‘s upcoming move to Endeavor to headstart its literary division (a report, we might add, was covered on GalleyCat weeks ago) ICM is now fighting back in a big way, filed a complaint in Federal Court, Southern District of New York, seeking to stop Abate from working for Endeavor on the grounds that he remains under a binding contract that prevents him from working for a competitor.

Variety now reports that according to the filing
, ICM claimed that it hired Abate in 1996 from a publishing house job that paid $20,500, and that in ten years he was making over $200,000 and received a bonus last December of $85,000. While ICM tried to renegotiate and extend Abate, the agency halted that upon learning he’d negotiated a deal with Endeavor, informing ICM on Feb. 9 that he wanted to leave. He did so, according to the complaint, before a resolution of his non-compete pact could be negotiated. A hearing is expected on March 19, no one was commenting and no word on how this would affect any or all of Abate’s 50-plus clients, many of which were expected to follow him to Endeavor. But even if this gets settled out of court, there’s probably not a terribly happy ending in sight…

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