Multi-million sign-on bonuses entirely normal, argues BGC

BGC PARTNERS will next week claim that offering over &pound;40m to brokers at rival Tullett Prebon was &ldquo;entirely normal and not unlawful&rdquo; recruiting practice, as the two firms resume battle in the High Court.<br /><br />The case was adjourned for the day yesterday after a defence barrister for BGC was taken ill on just the second day of the trial.<br /><br />But court documents show BGC will argue that its recruitment operations were lawful and pass the excessive remuneration buck back to Tullett when its legal team present their opening statements. Littleton Chambers&rsquo; Andrew Clarke QC will say offering &ldquo;substantial signing on payments&rdquo; is common practice in the sector. <br /><br />His opening statement says: &ldquo;Brokers are a valuable commodity and an employer will obviously pay what might be regarded (outside the industry) as very large amounts of money to secure their services.&rdquo;<br /><br />Clarke will also tell court that &ldquo;substantial six figure sums&rdquo; were paid by Tullett itself to its brokers to secure the extention of their contracts.<br /><br />Tullett has accused its rival of conspiring to orchestrate a &ldquo;carefully constructed raid&rdquo; on its staff in a bid to destabilise its London business, after BGC hired Tony Verrier, Tullett&rsquo;s former chief operating officer, in January. The case continues.<br />