Jenner & Block Secures Appellate Victory for MGM in Commission Dispute
On Thursday, May 7, Jenner & Block secured an appellate victory for MGM Studios and a subsidiary in a dispute with a commercial real estate broker over a brokerage commission.
In 2018, Jones Lang LaSalle sued MGM and Epix Entertainment, claiming the companies owed a commission as part of an exclusive brokerage agreement. MGM signed a sublease after the agreement period had expired, but the broker claimed the date on the agreement was a mutual mistake and that it was meant to include the sublease. The broker asked the court to reform the contract based on the alleged mutual mistake. Although the trial court determined there was no mutual mistake, it still reformed the contact on summary judgment.
Our clients appealed, and judges from the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court reversed the entry of summary judgment in favor of the broker and entered summary judgment in favor of our clients.
“The record shows that the agreement underwent multiple revisions by both parties, including revisions that plaintiff made to the language in the lead paragraph, which contained the inserted May 1, 2016 effective date, without disturbing the date,” the judges wrote in the appellate decision favoring MGM. “In addition, an uncontradicted internal email exchanged between defendants’ senior representatives on May 24, 2017, well before the date of the execution of the agreement, explicitly states that defendants intentionally back-dated the proposed agreement to May 1, 2016.”