Miller and Isaacson Win Substantial Arbitration Award for Broker Client

July 13, 2023 | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use | Commercial Litigation

Greg Miller and Debbie Isaacson secured a substantial arbitration award for their broker client before the American Arbitration Association.

Rivkin’s client, a commercial real estate firm, introduced a tenant to the respondent landlord to lease commercial space at its property in 2013. Rivkin’s client entered into a commission agreement with the landlord, which provided that if the property or any portion thereof is leased by our client, the landlord agreed to pay our client commission for the term of all leases, together with a commission on all renewals, extensions and expansions. The commission agreement further provided that the landlord reserved the right to lease the property itself or through another broker, so long as the sale or lease does not involve a prospect submitted to the landlord by our client.

Eight years later, when a vacancy almost ten times the size of the original leased space opened up at the property, the landlord used another broker to lease the additional space, plus the space leased in 2013, to the same tenant introduced by Rivkin’s client. The landlord refused to pay Rivkin’s client any commission on that lease. Rivkin commenced an arbitration proceeding on behalf of its client, asserting claims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against the landlord.

After a two-day trial, the arbitrator issued an award in favor of the firm’s client for its commission on the gross base rent of the subsequent lease, totaling just under $1 million. The arbitrator also awarded the client its attorney’s fees and interest. The arbitrator agreed with Miller and Isaacson’s position at trial that their client produced the tenant to the landlord, which was of value to the landlord, and that it was the same tenant in the subsequent lease. Pursuant to the terms of the commission agreement, the landlord was not permitted to lease the property to the same tenant through another broker. The arbitrator also agreed that the commission agreement terms, which were incorporated into the initial lease, obligated the landlord to pay our client commission on the subsequent lease.

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  • Gregory D. Miller
  • Deborah M. Isaacson

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