The sale of the most expensive residential property in the United States has launched a multimillion-dollar legal fight, according to Page Six. The house, in East Hampton, was bought for $147 million by investor Barry Rosenstein.
Rosenstein is the founder of hedge fund Jana Partners, purchased the 18-acre beachfront house in May from the estates of its late owners, Christopher H. Browne and Andrew Gordon.
A lawsuit was filed by The Corcoran real estate firm asking for $8.82 million in lost commission and damages because it claims the firm was hired as a broker to sell the property, but it was left out of the quiet deal.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Suffolk County and it states the following:
“[Corcoran] structured the deal and was awarded the listing three months before the sale, but was excluded from the transaction . . . [The defendants] proceeded nevertheless to willfully negotiate in secret for its sale with Rosenstein.”
The lawsuit was filed against three trustees, the estates and Rosenstein. It claims that Pam Liebman, the Corcoran president, and Tim Davis, met with trustees back in January. They were told that Corcoran “had been selected to exclusively market” the property for $150 million.
In March, $75 million and then $125 million were offered by Rosenstein to estates lawyer Ken Halcom. The lawsuit claims both offers were refused. Halcom then reportedly told Corcoran that the asking price was too high.
Corcoran claims in the lawsuit that it received an offer from another person at $155 million, but “the defendants privately negotiated a sale of the premises to Rosenstein for $147 million.”
The court documents said that Rosenstein “conspired with the Estate representatives . . . [to] avoid the brokerage fee . . . to secure a lower purchase price.”
One of Rosenstein’s reps said, “This dispute is between the sellers and a broker claiming to represent them. Mr. Rosenstein, as the buyer, should not be a party to the complaint, and we are confident the court will see it that way.”