The lawsuit launched at the brokerage led by the “Million Dollar Listing” star alleges that SERHANT. and two recently recruited agents stole trade secrets, marketing data and listings from the Florida-based Sutter & Nugent.
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The South Florida-based brokerage Sutter & Nugent has sued two of its former agents and SERHANT., claiming the pair stole trade secrets from the firm to take to Ryan Serhant’s brokerage and violated their contracts.
The lawsuit was launched by Sutter & Nugent against SERHANT. Florida, Matthew Moser and Nicholas Gonzalez at the end of May, the Palm Beach Post reported, with the firm seeking unspecified damages from the trio.
The news follows a similar case launched by Keller Williams Black Label against SERHANT. and that firm’s former agents who KW Black Label allege in April stole clients, intellectual property, confidential information, personnel and more when making the move to SERHANT. to spearhead the firm’s expansion into Pennsylvania.
Sutter & Nugent, which is based in Palm Beach Gardens, said it had invested a “substantial amount of money” in establishing its office in Boca Raton, out of which Moser and Gonzalez operated.
On March 20, Moser and Gonzalez notified the firm’s broker and president, Talbot Sutter, that they were leaving the firm, the complaint reads. Sutter made an effort to keep the agents, but after learning they had tried to recruit other agents and staff to move over to SERHANT., Sutter & Nugent terminated their agreements on March 24, the complaint reads further.
About two months after departing Sutter & Nugent, Moser and Gonzalez recruited William Volpe, who led the Jupiter office to also join SERHANT., Sutter & Nugent allege.
Plaintiffs also claim that Moser and Gonzalez used confidential marketing data and took listings that had been initiated with Sutter & Nugent over to SERHANT.
However, the defendants’ attorney David Beckerman, of Beckerman Law, denied the allegations, arguing that because the pair did not have non-compete agreements, they “had the right to leave.”
“There were no trade secrets taken,” Beckerman added. The attorney also filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
In the KW Black Label case, the firm and its parent company, the Condo Shop LLC, sought $10 million in damages plus punitive damages from the departure of Andrea Desy Edrei, who left KW Black Label to launch SERHANT. in Philadelphia.
The firm also said that its social media accounts were “sabotaged” and rebranded to SERHANT. overnight, and remained that way for weeks. The case is ongoing, a representative from Keller Williams Black Label confirmed to Inman.
In April 2023, SERHANT. announced the launch of a national expansion, the first wave of which included Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Connecticut. The second wave is yet to be announced.
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Email Lillian Dickerson