Palm Beach County firm alleges agents took trade secrets to Serhant

Ex-Sutter & Nugent agents didn’t have non-competes, lawyer says

Serhant's Ryan Serhant, Matthew Moser and Nicholas Gonzalez, and Sutter & Nugent’s Talbot Sutter
Serhant's Ryan Serhant, Matthew Moser and Nicholas Gonzalez, and Sutter & Nugent’s Talbot Sutter (Serhant, LinkedIn, Getty)

A South Florida brokerage is going after two of its former agents and Ryan Serhant’s firm, alleging the brokers stole trade secrets and violated their contracts. 

Sutter & Nugent sued Serhant Florida, Matthew Moser and Nicholas Gonzalez in late May and are seeking unspecified damages from the two ex-Sutter & Nugent agents and their new employer. 

Palm Beach Gardens-based Sutter & Nugent, led by broker and president Talbot Sutter, says it invested a “substantial amount of money” in setting up an office in Boca Raton where Moser and Gonzalez were based. 

Moser and Gonzalez notified Talbot Sutter on March 20 that they were leaving the brokerage, according to the complaint. The lawsuit alleges Sutter tried to keep them, but after finding out the two agents had been soliciting staff and agents in the Boca Raton office to join them at Serhant, Sutter & Nugent terminated the agreements on March 24. 

Nearly two months after they left the brokerage, Sutter & Nugent allege Moser and Gonzalez recruited William Volpe, who led the Jupiter office, to join Serhant. 

Sutter & Nugent also claims that Moser and Gonzalez used confidential marketing data and took listings that were initiated or secured through Sutter & Nugent. 

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David Beckerman, Moser and Gonzalez’s attorney, denies the allegations. Beckerman, of Beckerman Law, said they did not have non-compete agreements, “so they had the right to leave.” 

“There were no trade secrets taken,” he added. Beckerman filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit marks at least the second time Serhant is sued as it expands into new markets. 

A Pennsylvania brokerage in April accused Serhant and Andrea Desy Edrei, who leads his team in the Keystone State, of “plundering its clients, intellectual property, confidential information and personnel, while crippling its ability to operate.” Keller Williams Black Label and its parent company sought more than $10 million in damages over the terms of Desy Edrei’s departure in March to head Serhant’s local expansion

New York-based Serhant teased its South Florida expansion last year with a $100 million co-listing in Golden Beach, a wealthy enclave in north Miami-Dade County. This year, it officially opened up shop in six new markets along the East Coast: Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Carolina and South Carolina. It is also considering expanding to Chicago.

Serhant, who launched his firm in 2020, became a household name on Bravo’s TV show “Million Dollar Listing: New York” and his own spinoff, “Sell it Like Serhant.” 

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