Susman Godfrey Secures $36 Million Judgment in Long-Running Brooklyn Real Estate Dispute

Susman Godfrey Secures $36 Million Judgment in Long-Running Brooklyn Real Estate Dispute

Susman Godfrey has secured a $36 million judgment on behalf of client 255 Butler Associates LLC, ending a nearly eight-year legal battle that tied up a significant Brooklyn building.

In 2015, 255 Butler Associates—the owner of a long-term lease of a historic Brooklyn warehouse—signed a sublease with WeWork, which would have been highly profitable. However, the landlord of the building blocked the WeWork sublease and attempted to extort millions of dollars from 255 Butler Associates. After nearly six years of litigation, the client brought in Susman Godfrey to try the case and bring it to a conclusion.

Due to the pandemic, the trial didn’t commence until February 2022 and continued for nearly five months. The Susman Godfrey team presented a compelling case in chief, provided damages and industry experts upon whose analysis the Court relied, and conducted extensive cross-examinations of the landlord’s two principals. Ultimately, the Court agreed with the Susman Godfrey team entirely and awarded the full $36 million in lost profits damages.

“This litigation has been tying up a prominent piece of Brooklyn real estate for nearly eight years and making life extremely difficult for our client,” said New York partner, Beatrice Franklin. “We are beyond thrilled about this great result that provides our client some remedy for the harm caused by the landlord’s wrongful conduct.”

This case was covered by Crains New York and The Real Deal. New York partner Cory Buland led the case on behalf of 255 Butler Associates alongside Ms. Franklin.

The case is 255 Butler Associates LLC, v. 255 Butler LLC, Ariel Akkad a/k/a Ariel Accad, Nathan Akkad a/k/a Nathan Accad, Solomon Akkad a/k/a Solomon Accad, and Benjamin Akkad a/k/a Benjamin Accad, no. 511560/2015 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County