Justice Robert R. Reed


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Plaintiff, a company that provides real estate tax consulting services including obtaining real estate tax benefits for clients, contended that it was retained by defendant pursuant to a written letter agreement to represent defendant to apply for real estate tax benefits. Plaintiff further contended that there was discussion between the parties concerning its fee arrangement, that it sought a non-refundable fee of $5,000, with an additional fee of $10,000 if the application for Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (“ICIP”) benefits was successful, but that defendant’s president wanted a contingent fee arrangement. Plaintiff later sued for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and fraudulent conveyance of the property. The court granted plaintiff summary judgment on its breach of contract claim only, finding that defendant failed to make payment for the future abatement. The court noted that there is no dispute that defendant entered into the contract and indemnification at issue, that plaintiff filed the application, that New York City granted the ICIP abatement in the past amount of approximately $2.4 million, with a future abatement worth $2,180,000, and that defendant paid a 25% fee for the past abatement.