Agencies fighting over commissions on deals negotiated in the past for clients who have now moved on is nothing new in the courts but fighting over deals yet to happen is certainly a novel twist. Yet that’s what happened today when Jeff Berg’s Resolution filed a declaratory relief complaint (read it here) against his former agency ICM Partners over the latter’s seemingly persistent claims that it is entitled to commissions that “Resolution earns for some deals Resolution either has negotiated or will negotiate through the agents who used to be ICM Partners employees.” Essentially ICM, which has seen a numbers of its agents and their clients leave to join Berg since he formed Resolution in January, wants to enforce the employment contracts it had with the agents who left. To that end, ICM sent the new agency “a number of claim letters” supposedly “reserving rights,” according to the complaint filed in LA Superior Court Wednesday. Now Resolution wants the court to declare that “Plaintiff owes no duty whatsoever to Defendants with respect to commissions.” Interestingly, this comes at the time of year when the agencies see the most movement as contracts are up and bonuses are assigned. In their civil case request for a 5-day jury trial, Resolution also wants ICM to pay all its legal costs. Resolution is represented by Joseph Taylor and Tiffany Caterina of L.A. firm Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor.
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