UTA has sued former agent Chris Coelen, claiming he secretly engineered a reduction of fees owed to the agency by former client RDF Media and that he encouraged the television producer to terminate its services with UTA and hire Coelen instead.
Coelen, who founded and headed UTA’s alternative TV department, ankled the percentery in February to head the U.S. arm of Blighty production company RDF Media, the company behind “Wife Swap.” Coelen also launched Pangea Management Group, an RDF-backed company designed to represent British producers.
In a breach-of-contract suit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, UTA alleges Coelen abruptly left UTA and encouraged other employees to leave as well, and to help him steal confidential computer information. According to the complaint, Coelen signed a noncompete agreement as part of his partnership agreement, but beginning in 2005, he secretly agreed to reduce commissions charged to RDF, competed with UTA by heading Pangea and gave RDF confidential information.
The suit seeks unspecified money damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief.
In a related suit, UTA sued Karrie Wolfe, a UTA assistant who left with Coelen. The suit against her alleges that Wolfe absconded with confidential UTA information by emailing hundreds of documents including client lists, resumes and meeting minutes.