Yoron Cohen, formerly a top investment sales broker at JLL who moved over to Colliers International in December, is planning to sue his former employer for defamation, he told The Real Deal.
The dispute stems from a TRD Jan. 6 article titled “Inside the exodus of JLL’s I-sales quartet,” in which a high-level JLL executive said that Cohen, along with his colleagues Richard Baxter, Scott Latham, and Jon Caplan, were told in early 2016 that they were underperforming. The executive added that Cohen and his colleagues were given an ultimatum in September.
Cohen , through a representative, said Thursday that “it is shocking that JLL would give false information to news reporters. Mr. Cohen had a stellar performance record at JLL and there was no ultimatum, just the opposite.” Cohen claims that JLL made him a “lucrative offer” to remain at the firm but that he elected to move to Colliers.
Cohen said he has retained Charles Harder, a noted defamation attorney based in Los Angeles, who pulled off a landmark $140 million win for his client Hulk Hogan in a privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media last year.
Cohen‘s lawsuit, which sources said he will file in both federal and New York State Supreme Court, has not yet appeared in public records. A spokesperson for JLL did not respond to requests for comment.
Cohen is seeking a retraction and apology from JLL, as well as calling for JLL to “take appropriate disciplinary action against all persons” who made the statements in the press.
Earlier this month, Stephen Shapiro and Jason Gold defected from JLL’s New York capital markets team to join their former colleagues at Colliers.