Judge lifts injunction blocking John Lees from seafood industry


James Wright, Senior Editor

Published on
February 19, 2015

Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Christine Roach late last week granted John Lees’ motion to terminate an injunction prohibiting him from competing against Mar-Lees Seafood of New Bedford, Mass. The judge’s order was released on Wednesday and provided to SeafoodSource by Lees’ attorney John Daukas.

Judge Roach rejected Mar-Lees’ argument that the injunction should be extended, allowing Lees to reenter the seafood business. The Court also confirmed the arbitration award, as Lees had requested. 

On 28 August 2014 a three-judge arbitration panel issued an award in favor of Lees and against Mar-Lees, finding Lees had not competed against Mar-Lees and had not harmed the scallop supplier. The arbitrators found Lees had acted in good faith, always to benefit Mar-Lees.

In addition to considering Lees’ motion to terminate the injunction, on 11 February Judge Roach heard argument on defendants’ motions to dismiss Mar-Lees’ lawsuit in its entirety based on the arbitration award. The court took the motion under advisement, and is likely to issue a written decision shortly, said Daukas.

Mar-Lees had contended contends that Lees fraudulently inflated the value of the company during negotiations for its sale to new investors. It further claimed Lees and his business partners, failed to disclose to the new investors they had competing interests while negotiating employment and consulting agreements after the sale.

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