'Anti-Social Behavior And Inebriation': Accusations Fly In Lawsuits Between Founders Of High-End Miami Brokerage
In Miami, the founding principals of prominent luxury brokerage International Sales Group are going through a nasty business breakup, with gross mismanagement and substance abuse being alleged in court.
Craig Studnicky and Philip Spiegelman run ISG, which exclusively handles leasing at upscale properties such as Brickell City Centre and W Residences Fort Lauderdale and often provides a barometer of the local condo market, according to The Real Deal. In 2016, the partners announced they would also serve as developers on an $82M mixed-use project in New Orleans.
Though it wasn't reported until last week, Spiegelman's Monogram Marketing filed a lawsuit on May 23 against ISG and Studnicky's company, Craig Nicole Inc. The two men had essentially agreed that Studnicky would run the day-to-day operations and Spiegelman would take a reduced share of profits. But Spiegelman accused Studnicky of burning “through large amounts of cash” and alleged that ISG's overhead and recurring expenses of $2.4M are five times what they should be.
Studnicky filed a counterclaim saying that a third founding partner backed away from the company due to Spiegelman’s “overbearing narcissism and obnoxious personality," that Spiegelmen alienated clients, and that his “substance abuse problems and his anti-social behavior and inebriation caused him to be unable to function in any productive capacity.” Studnicky also filed a separate lawsuit to recoup $1.8M he loaned the company. Studnicky’s attorney, Robert Stok, alleged that Spiegelman stole $137K and was "dragging down the company."
Local real estate experts and competitors chimed in on the saga, warning that clients might be driven away, though Swire Properties said it would keep ISG to handle leasing at Brickell City Center.
“Philip and I are hopeful we can resolve our differences amicably in a short period of time," Studnicky told TRD, while Spiegelman and his attorneys did not offer comment.