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In the latest of a string of lawsuits that have been launched against luxury broker and Million Dollar Listing star Ryan Serhant, Nest Seekers International’s Connecticut entity is now suing the CEO in a civil case all-too-familiar to those Serhant has faced in the months since launching his East Coast expansion.
The lawsuit, first lodged at the end of November in Connecticut Superior Court by Nest Seekers CT LLC against Serhant and former Nest Seekers managers Garvey Fox and Danielle Malloy, alleges that Fox and Malloy breached their contracts with Nest Seekers by stealing the brokerage’s commissions, clients, intellectual property, confidential information and listings, as well as property renderings, floor plans and other marketing materials. The suit further claims all of these actions were done within a “restricted period” of eight months after the termination of their employment agreement in order to launch SERHANT. in Connecticut.
The suit also alleges that Serhant used “unfair and deceptive trade practices” to poach Nest Seekers’ clients, customers and listings, and convert them over to SERHANT. Serhant himself was affiliated with Nest Seekers International for about 12 years.
Nest Seekers CT is seeking at least $10 million in damages.
Fox and Malloy each signed five-year contracts with Nest Seekers on July 1, 2020. Both agents subsequently resigned from the firm on Dec. 15, 2022. According to their contracts, during an eight-month “restricted period” following the termination of their affiliation with the firm, they were to refrain from competing directly with Nest Seekers within a restricted territory and from soliciting the firm’s employees, clients, listings and vendors.
Fox and Malloy then went on to become founding members of SERHANT. Connecticut when it launched in April 2023.
The lawsuit specifically names a $14.9 million listing at 544 Oenoke Ridge in New Canaan and a $7.89 million listing at 135 Harbor Road in Westport that Nest Seekers claims were secured while Fox and Malloy were affiliated with Nest Seekers and, subsequently, placed on the SERHANT. website. (They are not currently on SERHANT.’s website.)
As the lawsuit also points out, this is at least the third such case Serhant has been involved in since his brokerage launched its East Coast expansion last April across Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Connecticut.
“Defendant Ryan Serhant is a real estate broker believed to be licensed in states other than Connecticut whose modus operandi is to tortiously interfere with existing relationships between corporate real estate brokerages, such as Plaintiff, and the individual brokers in their employ, such as Fox and Malloy, so as to steal and/or otherwise take the corporate brokerage’s listings, customers, clients, related lists and good will, and convert same to his own use or for use in a joint venture with the individual brokers,” the lawsuit complaint states.
In April, SERHANT. was the recipient of another $10 million lawsuit filed in Philadelphia Commerce Court from Keller Williams Black Label, as the firm alleged that Serhant and his new partners, Andrea Desy Edrei, Michael Skokowski, Jr., and Kailey Bondiskey — all former KW Black Label employees — had taken the firm’s clients, intellectual property, confidential information and personnel “while crippling its ability to operate.”
Perhaps most confounding of all, KW Black Label’s social media accounts had seemingly overnight been rebranded to SERHANT. and remaining members of the firm had been locked out of them for an extended period of several weeks, unable to revert them back to KW Black Label. At the time, a principal at KW Black Label told Inman that some existing KW Black Label clients actually thought the brand had shuttered and become part of SERHANT.
Then at the end of May, Palm Beach-based firm Sutter & Nugent filed a lawsuit in Palm Beach County Circuit Court against Serhant Florida LLC and former Sutter & Nugent agents Matthew Moser and Nicholas Gonzalez, alleging Moser and Gonzalez brought client lists, confidential data and listings over to SERHANT. with their move. Sutter & Nugent sought an injunction against Moser, Gonzalez and Serhant, as well as unspecified damages.