Irving Langer’s E & M owes $3.4M broker’s fee for Harlem portfolio

Multifamily owner tried to get out of it by purchasing property through new LLC

E&M On The Hook For Broker’s Fee
E&M's Irving Langer (Getty)

Irving Langer’s E & M Associates must fork over a $3.4 million broker’s commission the company had refused to pay. 

E & M, its principals and 52 affiliated LLCs, owe brokerage Georgia Malone & Company a commission for the 2013 purchase of an 87-building portfolio in Harlem, a jury ruled.

The case has been winding through court for a decade.

“It has been a long 10-year battle but in the end the jury upheld our client’s rights to duly earned commission,” said Claude Castro, the attorney for the brokerage.

Georgia Malone & Company was acting as a buyer’s broker for E & M when it inked a deal to purchase the 1.4 million square-foot portfolio. Both sides had agreed to a 1% commission.

But E&M – under principals Michael Langer, Irving Langer, Scott Katz and Leiber Lederman – bought the portfolio under newly formed LLCs and refused to pay the commission, saying it didn’t make the purchase under the name on the brokerage agreement, according to the 2014 complaint filed in State Supreme Court.

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The court dismissed the case in 2017. But a 2018 appellate court ruling called for a trial to weed through the “conflicting language” in the agreement and determine if the LLCs were bound to the agreement because of their connection to E & M. 

A jury ultimately decided that E & M and the LLCs are bound. Now they must pay the brokerage fees plus interest and legal fees, which is now more than double what they originally owed.

It appears that E & M has already gotten rid of the portfolio. Langer began selling his Harlem holdings in 2018. By the end of 2019, E & M had shed 92 buildings in three sales, raking in $400 million.

He also sold off properties outside New York City in 2021 to pay off a defaulted loan he used to leverage his 3,000-unit multifamily portfolio.

E & M did not respond to a request for comment.

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