CBRE CEO Robert E. Sulentic, and Keller Williams Founder Gary Williams with the Lantana propertyEarly last year, CBRE netted a $2 million commission when it brokered WeWork’s 116,000-square-foot lease at the Lantana office complex in Santa Monica.
Keller Williams claims it is owed half that amount, alleging CBRE disregarded a contract the two brokerages negotiated in July 2017 with WeWork’s then head of global real estate.
In a lawsuit filed Dec. 23, Keller alleges that CBRE took advantage of a key personnel change at WeWork in the fall of 2018 well before its implosion in late September to ignore the commission split deal.
In its filing in L.A. County Superior Court, Keller’s Brentwood affiliate alleges its leasing agent Theodore Brenneman was approached in April 2017 by Mark Lapidus, then WeWork’s global head of real estate.
Brenneman reached out to CBRE broker Jim Schoolfeld, and three months later, the firms entered into a contract where they would share any commissions related to WeWork’s purchase or lease of property in L.A., the suit alleges.
Lapidus left WeWork in October 2018, and later CBRE went behind Brenneman’s back to broker the Lantana deal, according to the lawsuit.
As of June 2019, WeWork had 1.6 million square feet in the city.