BGC Partners v. Avison Young (Canada)

Civil Practice

New York Law Journal


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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