William Raveis must pay Elliman $5M damages in agent-poaching case

Raveis conspired to "decimate" Elliman's office in Armonk, N.Y.: lawsuit

New York /
Jun.June 20, 2017 06:50 PM

UPDATED: June 21, 10:52 a.m.: “They’ll eventually be out of Westchester County,” Bill Raveis declared back in 2015, referring to rival firm Douglas Elliman’s move into William Raveis Real Estate’s stronghold.

Not quite two years later, the opposite is turning out to be true.

On Tuesday, a jury upheld Elliman’s claim that Raveis and a former Elliman manager conspired to poach top agents from its office in Armonk, N.Y. The jury awarded Elliman $5 million in damages.

The rival firms have sparred viciously both in New York City and its wealthy suburbs to the north since 2014, when Elliman opened an office in Greenwich, Conn., in the heart of Raveis country.

That year, the suburban powerhouse, which is based in Connecticut, broke into Manhattan with an office headed by Paul Purcell, a former Elliman president, and Kathy Braddock.

The firms’ battle came to a head in mid-2015 when Raveis accused Elliman of blocking all emails that came from the firm — a move Bill Raveis likened to a “baby tantrum.” Elliman, meanwhile, said Raveis was sending mass emails to brokers in New York City in an attempt to lure them away.

Elliman sued Raveis and former manager Lisa Theiss in 2015 for allegedly conspiring to “decimate” its branch by secretly recruiting the firm’s top agents, according to court papers. The suit alleges that Theiss poached 10 agents, including four “top producers,” from her former firm and lured them to Raveis’ newly opened office across the street.

In a statement Tuesday, Elliman Chair Howard Lorber said he was pleased that the jury saw fit to rectify Raveis’ “egregious and outrageous actions.”

In an email, Bill Raveis said he disagreed “with all aspects of the jury’s decision,” and added that his firm would “vigorously be pursuing [an] appeal.”

Both Raveis and Elliman have been going after the Westchester market, which is still dominated by Houlihan Lawrence and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. Raveis logged $439 million in Westchester sales in 2016 while Elliman followed with $378 million, according to a recent analysis by The Real Deal. 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
John Giannone and Jac Credaroli (Credit: iStock)
Two Elliman agents launch platform to provide renters, buyers and sellers up to $50K in unsecured loans
Two Elliman agents launch platform to provide renters, buyers and sellers up to $50K in unsecured loans
Jacob Sudhoff and Scott Durkin (Credit: Sudhoff Companies, Emily Assiran, iStock)
Douglas Elliman is coming to Texas
Douglas Elliman is coming to Texas
Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
Elliman’s revenue rose 18%, after sales frenzy to avoid New York’s new transfer tax
Elliman’s revenue rose 18%, after sales frenzy to avoid New York’s new transfer tax
Tyler Whitman, licensed real estate salesperson, The Whitman Team @ Triplemint; and 43 Garden Street (Corcoran, Triplemint, iStock)
“Million Dollar Listing” star buys instead of selling
“Million Dollar Listing” star buys instead of selling
Tamir Shemesh & Ryan Serhant (Getty Images, Serhant)
Top broker Tamir Shemesh joining Serhant
Top broker Tamir Shemesh joining Serhant
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
East End homebuyers face tightest market ever
East End homebuyers face tightest market ever
Gary Beasley, chief executive officer and co-founder, Roofstock (Roofstock, iStock)
Roofstock ramps up iBuying, even with tenants in place
Roofstock ramps up iBuying, even with tenants in place
Sam Zell with a RVC Outdoor Destinations site (Getty, RVC)
Sam Zell’s Equity Lifestyle Properties invests $147M in manufactured homes
Sam Zell’s Equity Lifestyle Properties invests $147M in manufactured homes
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...