BGC Partners v. Avison Young (Canada)

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Shira Scheindlin

Until 2008, Rose—the CEO of Canadian real estate brokerage firm Avison Young (Canada) Inc.—was president of Grub & Ellis (G&E), a U.S. brokerage that declared bankruptcy in February 2012. In March, BGC Partners bought G&E's rights, properties and assets, including "business opportunities." After Rose left G&E in 2008, Avison Young allegedly targeted G&E personnel, and stole commissions, business and business opportunities, even after G&E declared bankruptcy. In August, BGC brought suit in Manhattan supreme court against all Avison Young entities—including New York-based Avison Young-New York (AY-New York)—believed to have participated in the alleged scheme to steal assets and offices. On Aug. 31, Avison Young-Nevada sought federal removal, arguing that complete diversity existed, and that the case "related to" a pending bankruptcy proceeding. District court granted BGC remand to state court. Finding recovery against AY-New York not per se foreclosed, the court determined that it lacked diversity jurisdiction. Abstention was required given that plaintiffs "non-core" state law claims could be timely adjudicated in state court, and because all six factors of 28 USC §1334(c)(2) were satisfied.

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