Pan Brothers drops suit against Kaufman Organization

Firm claimed it had been cut out of commission on Digital Ocean's lease at 101 Sixth Avenue 

TRD New York /
Sep.September 25, 2014 02:30 PM

The family-run real estate firm Pan Brothers Associates has discontinued its lawsuit against two business associates over a commission — explaining it never intended to sue one of them.

“Panbrothers Associates has an ongoing business relationship with the Kaufman Organization, which we value and respect,” company principal Peter Pantelidis wrote in an e-mail to The Real Deal. “Since this action was never meant to involve the Kauffman Organization, we have discontinued the suit in it’s [sic] entirety.”

Pan Brothers filed the complaint in Manhattan Supreme Court last week against Kaufman and broker Yancy Foster, a former Pan employee. In the suit, the firm claimed it had been cut out of its share of a commission for the signing of tenant Digital Ocean to a 23,500-square-foot space in a Hudson Square office building earlier this year.

According to Pan Brothers, the company procured Digital Ocean as a client and hammered out an agreement with Foster, who in turn contacted Kaufman to help find an appropriate space.

Pan claimed an agreement was set up so that it would split half of the commission down the middle with Foster, while Kaufman would take the other 50 percent.

Grant Greenspan, a principal of Kaufman’s leasing division, disputed that claim, saying his company had a co-broker agreement with Foster only.

After the lease at 101 Sixth Avenue was inked, Pan sued to restrain Kaufman from paying what the firm’s executives believe to be its share of the deal to Foster, seeking $200,000 in damages.

The firm’s attorneys said Kaufman was never the intended target of the lawsuit, only a necessary party as Pan sought legal ground to block payments to Foster. Pan’s attorney on Wednesday filed paperwork discontinuing the lawsuit.

Pantelidis said his company will look to pursue action against Foster through the state’s real estate licensing division.

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