February 2022

Senior Employee of Real Estate Finance Company Wins Breach of Contract Case

United States - Delaware

In this matter, we (with Oderah Nwaeze acting as first-chair) represented a senior employee of a real estate finance and asset management company in a breach of contract litigation against his former employer, who he accused of exercising bad faith in its termination of him for “cause” in order to keep his deferred compensation. The District of Delaware concluded that the defendant did breach the deferred compensation agreement, and that the CEO’s testimony was “not credible as to the Board deciding to terminate [the plaintiff] for cause as evidenced by his contradictory sworn statements … his sworn discovery responses later amended just weeks before trial on the eve of summary judgment motions, and his evident lack of candor to [the plaintiff] and to the Board.” The court also underscored that the defendant relied on a “unanimous consent” of the Board, which appeared to be “contrived for purposed of this trial,” and that the defendant’s CEO “induced the Board’s ‘for cause’ decision with misinformation while his subordinates including General Counsel and President furthered the actual plan to keep [the plaintiff] until he resigned,” or the defendant could fire him.

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