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Judge grants summary judgment to client defeating claim for profit share in real estate investment fund

Howard M. Cooper, Grace C. Bayman, and Widmaier M. Charles persuaded a Middlesex Superior Court judge to grant summary judgment dismissing an investment fund manager’s claim for carried interest compensation from the firm’s client.

The plaintiff sued to enforce an alleged oral promise by the firm’s client for a percentage of profits generated from a real estate investment fund she worked on while employed by the client.

The judge rejected the breach of contract claim, finding that the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence that “demonstrates that the parties expressly agreed to any identified terms, let alone ‘material’ terms.”

The plaintiff’s claims for misrepresentation and fraud, unjust enrichment, and promissory estoppel also failed, the judge determined, primarily because of the absence of any detrimental reliance.

The firm’s client hired the plaintiff in 2013 as an investment associate and promoted her to the position of fund manager before she resigned in 2017 to take a similar position at another company.

The fund in question closed in 2018 and the plaintiff eventually requested the profit share payment in 2020.  The firm’s client denied her request, saying she never earned or was granted a profit share interest prior to her departure.  The case had been scheduled to go to trial in August 2024.