Elliman sues broker for $700K after he bolted for Bespoke
Firm pursuing Andrew Azoulay, alleging he broke contract
Douglas Elliman is pursuing one of its former brokers for nearly $700,000.
The brokerage alleged in a summons Thursday that Andrew Azoulay left Elliman on March 15, about a year before the end of his three-year contract. As a result, Elliman says it’s entitled to $687,600 in incentives and benefits it paid him.
Azoulay, who could not immediately be reached for comment, has joined Bespoke Real Estate as vice president of business development, according to the firm’s website.
The former Elliman rainmaker was known for a star-studded client roster that included NBA champions Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett when he left Town to join Elliman in 2014. He brought with him more than $70 million in listings.
Douglas Elliman declined to comment.
Clawbacks have become a hot-button issue in recent years as firms like Compass and the now-defunct Town Residential aggressively recruited agents away from legacy brokerages. Firms like Core, Elliman and Corcoran updated their policies and started to more aggressively target costs eligible for recoupment.
Clawback policies in Compass contracts sometimes allowed the brokerage to recoup money after the end of a broker’s deal. One agent previously told The Real Deal their one-year contract had a three-year clawback period that applied to all marketing, administrative and office expenses.
The suit against Azoulay isn’t the only legal action he’s been involved with in recent years.
In 2019 he sued Taylor Swift, alleging the pop star owed him a $1 million commission for giving her representatives a tour of 153 Franklin Street, a four-bedroom townhouse that Swift later bought. A judge threw the case out, ruling that Swift and Azoulay did not have a formal agreement.
The broker’s new firm has also been the subject of litigation lately. The firm was accused by a former executive in March of racial discrimination. It’s also being sued by a Hamptons broker alleging the firm owes him $545,000 in commissions.