Snyder v. Bronfman, __ N.Y.3d __, 2009 NY Slip Op 08667 (N.Y. Nov. 23, 2009), holding that quantum meruit and unjust enrichment claims brought to recover the value of plaintiff's services in helping to achieve a corporate acquisition are barred by the statute of frauds contained in General Obligations Law § 5-701 (a) (10).
The deal? Defendant and a group of other investors agreed to acquire Warner Music from Time Warner for approximately $2.6 billion in cash. According to the complaint, Plaintiff was a major contributor to this success: he identified the opportunity, persuaded defendant of its merits, helped to get debt financing and obtained financial information from the target company.
New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, found: "The essence of plaintiff's claim is that he devoted years of work to finding a business to acquire and causing an acquisition to take place — efforts that ultimately led to defendant's acquisition of his interest in Warner Music. In seeking reasonable compensation for his services, plaintiff obviously seeks to be compensated for finding and negotiating the Warner Music transaction. His claim is of precisely the kind the statute of frauds describes."
Jordan Greenberger, Esq.
J. Greenberger, PLLC. A boutique law practice in Brooklyn, New York, concentrating on copyright, trademark, litigation and related matters.