The Real Deal New York

Compass responds to Corcoran’s “multi-front assault” suit

“No agents should feel trapped” just for changing firms, startup says
By Hiten Samtani and E.B. Solomont | March 25, 2015 12:59PM

Compass responded Wednesday to the Corcoran Group’s lawsuit against it, saying in a statement to The Real Deal that the New York State Supreme Court has “flatly rejected” Corcoran’s complaints against the startup brokerage.

According to Compass, the “Court scoffed at Corcoran’s attempt to prevent its agents from working for Compass and merely instructed Compass’ personnel to continue complying with Company policies already in place — not accessing others’ listings databases and following existing non-solicit agreements.”

The firm added that the court allowed it “to continue operating its business as usual, which, according to the Court, may include Compass’ recruitment of Corcoran employees and agents.”

Documents from the court hearing Tuesday are currently sealed, and as such, Compass’ statements about the hearing could not be independently verified. In a statement, Corcoran said the firm does not comment on ongoing litigation.

On Monday, TRD first reported on Corcoran’s legal action, which accused Compass of using “unlawful methods” in a “coordinated, multi-front assault of unfair competition” and sought a temporary restraining order against Compass. The suit also named former Corcoran agents and managers who are now at Compass.

The next day, TRD reported on the job offer that Compass made to Gene Martinez, the former manager of Corcoran’s Soho office. Corcoran included a copy of the offer letter in its suit against Compass, as support for its claim that Martinez violated his noncompete agreement with the firm.

In Wednesday’s statement, Compass said, “No agents should feel trapped by the threat of being sued just for exercising their independence and deciding to change firms.”

  • UWS agent

    Instead of throwing away money on losing lawsuits, Corcoran should invest it in creating a better company for their agents.

    • BH

      Not that anyone can compete with Corcoran right now considering their roster of new development currently for sale, and underway…..but there has to be a reason people would choose to leave.

      If they aren’t happy they will find some place they can be. It’s a common theme in life in general.

  • Chris

    Obvious outcome. Gene had a non-compete from working in NY. And he is living and working outside of NY. Agents and employees are able to take their contacts. Easy to claim in a suit that contacts are company property but much harder to get a judge to agree.

  • “Losers”

    The “mean girl” act is not working for Corcoran’s top brass. Everybody is aware of Corcoran’s BS. Grow up!

  • DavidFinn

    In a city like Manhattan, you need to have presence. Elliman has presence. Town has presence. For crying out loud, even Nestseekers has presence, but when was the last time you saw a Corcoran ad anywhere. There isn’t a broadway show or a theater or an event I go to that doesn’t have Elliman or some other brokerage sponsoring it. That resonates with people and with their own brokers. Corcoran felt so untouched for so long that they didn’t realize they were losing market share the whole time and now losing top producing brokers. It’s a marketing firm, yet they don’t market anywhere.

  • dontworryboutit

    The Corcoran Group once used to be such a wonderful place to work, now there are Monsters bullies that try to control evething and everyone …..Pam L you are not GOD!

  • Melvin Weiss

    Interesting press release from Compass here but it’s only one sides spin. Doesn’t sound like the judge really scoffed at the lawsuit, probably just did not grant the temporary restraining order. Since the case is sealed, someone needs to leak the documents for us to know what’s going on, which will probably happen by tomorrow the way this is going.

  • Hmmm

    Corcoran was happy to provide comments yesterday…. Their tune shifts after the court ruling.

    • HitenSamtani

      Hey, Corcoran didn’t comment yesterday either. All remarks were taken from their lawsuit. – ed.

  • Melvin Smetz

    Say what you want and share your bias but the book is not written yet on Compass as they raised money based on their past track record not on their real estate business. Corcoran may not be the latest hot company of the month but they have been around a lot longer than Compass and many companies have come and gone in the past thirty years. It is too soon to judge them as having money is not the only way to measure the business.

  • “Bullies”

    Glad to see them lose again!

  • Cornelia Geist

    I hear Martha Stewart is suing Donald Trump. I wonder if this has something to do with that.

  • lawsuits4days

    If someone read the actual lawsuit stories would stop getting spun. this isn’t about money – the claims include agents (including Martinez) breaching their contracts and stealing proprietary information and exclusives. Also even if Martinez does work in DC, or Miami, or wherever he’s supposed to be, he wasn’t allowed to solicit agents to leave Corcoran for 12 months after he left, and the claim is that it’s no coincidence that 28 agents left Martinez’s office for Compass after he did.

    • bah

      right this isn’t about money… Corcoran claims to be entitled to compensatory damages in amount no less than $1M for each Cause of Action, and there are 10 of them..