Colliers is being sued in the High Court over allegations it was involved in plans to poach clients and staff from rival HVS International.

Three directors at global hotel consultancy HVS, Dominique Bourdais, Karen Smith and Marc Finney, who were due to join Colliers, are also being sued. They are accused of forming a trio which illegally passed confidential information to a Colliers subsidiary.

The High Court heard today that the plan, codenamed Project Chaos, was to pass the information to Richard Tibbott, chairman of European hospitality consultancy Locum Consulting, which Colliers bought in 2006.

They are accused of passing details about HVS’s clients, including password and downloads from a database of all its European clients.

They are also accused of collecting confidential documents covering salary and bonus details of a number of employees to pass to Locum so the company could poach staff.

The court heard from a number of emails passed between the trio this year allegedly detailing their plans.

The hearing today is to determine if the defendants should be prevented from dealing with clients they were allegedly trying to poach.

Richard Tibbott, chairman at Locum Consulting, said: 'This matter is currently the subject of High Court proceedings and until those proceedings are concluded it would be inappropriate for Locum to comment.'

The hearing continues.