Ackman-Ziff ("AZ") claims to be the industry’s preeminent boutique real estate capital advisory firm. Ackman-Ziff claims to offer a wide variety of cutting-edge commercial real estate capital markets financing solutions, including debt and mezzanine financing, preferred and joint venture equity, sponsor equity, and investment sales. In business for over 90 years, the privately held company is headquartered in New York City with offices in Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston. The firm claims to be highly regarded in the industry for its integrity, creativity, and advocacy on behalf of its clients.
However, in the summer of 2021, AZ elected to sue its client Moishe Mana and his real estate entities regarding a mortgage brokerage agreement whereby AZ was to procure a substantial lending facility for Mana within 30 days. Mana was unwilling to give AZ an exclusive contract for more than that limited period of time. AZ failed to procure a lender for Mana, and used its creativity to try and argue that the contract was extended beyond the 30 day exclusivity period. The Arbitrator did not buy the argument and ruled in favor of Mana.
Bruce Fischman and The Fischman Law Firm, P.A., along with local New York counsel, successfully defended the arbitration claim by the major New York real estate and mortgage brokerage house, Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, LLC ("AZ") alleging that Moishe Mana and his real estate entities breached a brokerage contract by failing to pay substantial brokerage fees under the brokerage contract. AZ claimed it procured the lender Fortress for Mana regarding a lending facility in excess of 200 million dollars. Mana claimed that he gave AZ a limited exclusivity engagement of thirty days. AZ claimed this period was extended and that the commission was due under the Agreement.
After a full arbitration trial, the Hon. Billie Colombaro (ret.), Arbitrator entered a ruling in favor of Mana and against Ackman-Ziff. The Judge ruled that Mana and his entities " have met their burden of proof that they did not breach the parties’ agreement by failing to pay Claimant a commission on the ultimate procured Fortress financing." Additionally, on the claim by AZ for the reasonable value of its services rendered, the Judge ruled that "[l]ikewise, Claimant’s claim for quantum meruit in the instant matter has no legal basis and is, hereby, denied." AZ lost and Mana was not liable to pay anything to AZ.