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Neil Livingstone has been the voice of Global Options since he founded the corporate strategy group in 1997 to advise companies and business leaders on industrial espionage, internal investigations, and hostage recovery. But Livingstone’s January exit from the company has devolved into a bitter battle in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Global Options sued Livingstone in March, saying he violated his severance agreement by soliciting clients for his D.C. startup, ExecutiveAction. The solicitations, Global Options lawyer Brian Shaunnessy said in court papers, defamed his client by claiming its recent listing as a publicly traded entity created “constraints.” Livingstone fired back in court filings last week, saying his separation came after “more than a year long deterioration” of his relationship with executive Harvey Schiller “over significant differences about the direction of management.” Livingstone claims that in lieu of a severance package, both sides agreed he “would proceed to open a new firm,” according to court papers filed by his lawyer, Richard Heideman of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik. But in an affidavit filed last week, Global Options’ chief financial officer, Jeff Nyweide, stated that Livingstone was paid a severance. What’s more, he wrote, any differences were over Livingstone’s performance between 2004 and 2006, when his business dropped from $5.3 million to $3.5 million without any reduction in expenses. On April 24, the parties appeared before Judge Paul Friedman and agreed to stay the case during settlement talks.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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