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2 Boston-based PR firms in a legal spat

March 18, 2010

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BOSTON—A legal spat has broken out between two of Boston's most prominent public relations firms.

Regan Communications Group said Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against O'Neill & Associates, charging that the company formed an association with a former Regan vice president who was bound by a non-competition agreement.

The lawsuit also names the former executive, Nicole Russo, and the newly formed partnership called O'Neill Hospitality and Entertainment.

The lawsuit accuses O'Neill & Associates of unlawfully trying to bolster its share of the lucrative hospitality industry at the expense of Regan Communications.

Russo worked for Regan for about nine years and according to the company's Web site supervised a team that handled accounts for several high-profile clients, including Todd English's restaurants and Legal Sea Foods.

A lawyer for O'Neill & Associates says the complaint is "baseless and without merit."