douglas-ellimanNew York real estate brokerage powerhouse Douglas Elliman has filed a lawsuit against another competing brokerage, Compass, and two of Elliman’s former agents for poaching Elliman’s current agents in an effort to grow Compass’ business.

The complaint alleges that the former agents “targeted every member of the [Douglas Elliman] 17th Street office, from agents to secretaries, using Compass to send each a barrage of text messages, phone calls, and emails asking them to meet Compass’s CEO and co-founder, Robert Reffkin”.  The action seeks unspecified damages based on theories of breach of contract, unfair competition and tortious interference with contract.

The basis for the case stems from the brokers’ execution of a Confirmation Agreement with Douglas Elliman during their employment.  Under the Confirmation Agreement, the brokers were not allowed to solicit employees of Douglas Elliman for a period of eighteen (18) months after their employment ended.  Additionally, Compass is alleged to have used proprietary materials of Douglas Elliman in its pursuit of business and to have even attempted to use current agents of Douglas Elliman to subvert exclusive listing agreements for the benefit of Compass.

Real estate attorney Peter Moulinos believes that, if the facts as alleged in the Complaint are proven, that Douglas Elliman should be successful in its action as Douglas Elliman has set out facts establishing a prima facie case for each of its causes of action.

The case is entitled “Douglas Elliman v. Steinberg” and is filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, bearing index number 655479/16.