The Real Deal New York

Feil says Barry lawsuit a vendetta by bitter in-law

May 01, 2012 03:30PM
By David Jones

From left: Feil CEO Jeffrey Feil, Clermont York at 445 East 80th Street, and the Clermont at 444 East 82nd Street

Feil Organization CEO Jeffrey Feil claims that his brother-in-law, investor Stanley Barry, filed a “vindictive” lawsuit last month in retaliation for being kicked out of the family real estate business. Barry, a Delray Beach, Fla.-based investor and head of Century Operating, filed suit in New York state Supreme Court March 16 alleging Feil has refused to disclose financial records at Clermont York, at 445 East 80th Street and the Clermont, at 444 East 82nd Street

The original complaint alleges, without citing specific instances, that funds may have been misappropriated or that Barry may have been deprived of some returns on his investment in the buildings.

Barry, who is married to one of Feil’s sisters, alleges in the original complaint that Feil improperly refused to reveal the financial records at the two buildings since 2011. Feil responded in the April 26 filing that the suit is nothing more than an attempt to get back at him over a longstanding family dispute.

“Spite and a desire for revenge merely explain why plaintiff filed this needless action — they are not a sufficient basis for legal action, and certainly not for the claims that plaintiff asserts in the complaint,” wrote Joseph Allerhand, attorney for Feil, in the suit.

Barry is the founder and chairman of Century Operating, a firm that manages 12,000 residential co-ops, condos and other apartments in New York City.

Barry has been a partner since 1976 in Clermont York Associates, which is the entity that owns the two buildings. In 2004, the name of the entity was changed to CYA LLC, and Feil was named the managing member.

Allerhand claims in the April 26 filing that Barry failed to allege any specific fiduciary breach of duty, meaning any specific wrongdoing by Feil that would require a detailed inspection of the books. In addition, he argues that Barry has failed to detail exactly which set of financial records he is looking for.

Lastly, Allerhand claims that Barry does not say that a specific request was made by him and refused by Feil, meaning that the complaint does not specifically cite a formal request and rejection of the documents

The Feil Organization is one of the city’s oldest family-owned real estate firms, and owns and operates more than 26 million square feet of residential, retail and commercial office space. Properties include the Fred F. French building, an office tower at 551 Fifth Avenue at 45th Street; Four Park Avenue, a pre-war rental building at 34th Street and 570 Lexington Avenue, a 450,000-square-foot office building at 51st Street.

Feil declined to comment. Lawyers for Barry said they would respond in court documents.

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