Annie Cosby Nov. 13, 2014, 10:49am

A real estate company is suing a client it claims breached a lease negotiation agreement.

Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler, doing business as Colliers International, filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 in Cook County Circuit Court against Heritage Home Group, alleging breach of contract.

According to the complaint, Heritage Home Group -- a company that designs, manufactures, and sells retail home furnishings-- retained the plaintiff as its real estate agent to negotiate lease terms for showroom space in Washington D.C.

Colliers says that after months of work, Heritage decided to leave the area without paying Colliers for its work. Then, the suit states that Heritage retained Collier to negotiate the renewal of leases in Kansas and North Carolina, and Colliers agreed not to seek commission from the landlords based upon Heritage's claim it would retain Collier for larger lease negotiations.

Heritage, according to the complaint, retained Colliers in February to find showroom space in High Point, North Carolina and in Las Vegas, as well as a 4 percent commission from the landlord, which Heritage agreed to help Colliers obtain.

Colliers says it secured Las Vegas showroom space at a 20 percent discount, and the landlord indicated its willingness to pay the 4 percent commission, but Heritage informed it that the company's CEO would finalize the deal. Colliers alleges it found out in June that Heritage had conspired with the landlord to forgo payment of the commission.

Colliers is represented by attorneys Charles A. Valente and Heather Kuhn O'Toole of Krasnow Saunders Kaplan & Beninati in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L011217.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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