Andy Adams, Editor

Mar 26, 2024

Maybe it’s the Donald Trump news cycle but there just seems to be a lot of attention going to high-profile court cases these days. I feel like everyone is on trial or is suing everyone else – sometimes both! After a while you become a bit numb to it all but a newsletter last week from Phil Friedland, (a well-known marine industry veteran) got my attention.

His newsletter headline was, “Lawsuit Rocks the Yacht-Sales World – Alleges That Brokers and Their Associations Engaged in a Scheme That Cheated Thousands of Sellers”.  I immediately called some of the yacht brokers that we regularly work with, to ask what’s going on. As background, there has recently been a big class-action suit in the U.S. involving real estate agents and commissions. Quite possibly, one has triggered the other.

The story is that there is an American class-action suit being brought by a yacht owner who is also involved in real estate. As is common in a broad and far-reaching class action suit, the plaintiff names many people and organizations in the suit knowing that it will probably shake out as things progress, if they do progress.

First to connect with me was Pat Sturgeon. Shortly after, several other yacht brokers returned my calls and the general consensus for now, is to sit tight. There are a few reasons. Pat is a YBA and also a CPYB member, and a well-established yacht broker with a fondness for getting involved in the industry. He works ‘cross-border regularly. He is very concerned about this but it’s complicated.

Points we agreed to in our call was first, to sit tight and see how this progresses. Keep the story within the industry for now until we know more. Second, the United States and Canada are different and we have different laws. It takes time for a big action suit to work its way through the U.S. courts and Canadian laws may be very different in their approach to this.

We will be watching this story closely and will bring you information on the probable impact this will have in Canada, if any.

Andy Adams – Editor

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