Nest Seekers sues Serhant, Connecticut agents
At least the third suit targeting Serhant since its East Coast expansion
The Connecticut arm of Nest Seekers International is suing Ryan Serhant and two of its former managers.
The brokerage accused Garvey Fox and Danielle Garvey of breaching their contracts and stealing commissions, clients, listings and marketing materials when they left the firm to open Serhant’s Connecticut office, Inman first reported.
The complaint, filed in the Connecticut Superior Court in November, also claims Serhant relied on “unfair and deceptive trade practices” to lure Nest Seekers’ agents to his eponymous firm. Nest Seekers is seeking $10 million in damages.
In the complaint, the plaintiff’s attorney argued that Serhant’s “modus operandi” is to “steal and/or otherwise take the corporate brokerage’s listings, customers, clients, related lists and good will, and convert the same to his own use.”
The Connecticut lawsuit alleges Fox and Malloy were subject to an eight-month “restrictive period” in their employment contracts, which prohibited them from competing directly with Nest Seekers in a specified area and from attempting to poach its clients, employees, listings and vendors.
The pair signed five-year contracts with Nest Seekers in July 2020 and resigned from the firm in December 2022. Fox and Malloy then helped found Serhant’s Connecticut division in April.
Nest Seekers alleges that Malloy and Fox secured two of the listings named in the lawsuit — including a New Canaan home asking $14.9 million and a Westport listing priced at $7.9 million — while they were employees at the firm.
In a statement on the lawsuit, Ryan Serhant dismissed the filing.
“More traditional brokerages that are losing agents to innovative upstarts like Serhant use litigation to interfere with agent mobility even when those agents and their new brokerage have done nothing wrong,” Serhant said. “It’s not a new story about employers who lose people trying to use the courts to interfere with departures; and the courts generally reject those claims.”
Serhant worked under the Nest Seekers brand for over a decade, during which he rose to broker stardom as a cast member of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.” He left Nest Seekers and launched his own venture in 2020.
Several former Nest Seekers agents have since jumped to Serhant’s firm, though a notable few have moved in the other direction.
In September, one of Serhant’s top brokers, Loy Carlos, joined Nest Seekers to head the firm’s new Global Wealth division. Nest Seekers scooped up another of Serhant’s top producers, Tamir Shemesh, after he was fired from Serhant in February.
This article has been updated with comment from Serhant founder and CEO Ryan Serhant on the lawsuit.