By Emily Parkhurst
It’s been a busy 10 months for Hughes Marino since it launched its Seattle office.
Immediately after opening the Seattle office last June, the San Diego-based commercial real estate firm was sued by rival firm CBRE.
Two CBRE brokers—Gavin Curtis and Owen Rice—had left to start Hughes Marino’s Seattle office. CBRE accused them of stealing trade secrets. The companies settled the suit this week and it was dismissed with prejudice, which means the claims cannot be revived in court.
The lawsuit wasn’t a setback, said Jason Hughes, chairman and CEO of Hughes Marino. The company’s new Seattle office has about a dozen staffers and is growing fast, he said.
“We’re doing fantastically well. Better than our projections,” he said. “We are on fire.”
The office has five brokers, and Hughes plans to double that and add an in-house attorney. He is also planning to add an office in Portland, likely this year.
In addition to Seattle, Hughes Marino has offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County. The company also recently opened a satellite office in New York.
The firm differentiates itself from the competition by only representing tenants in deals. Many companies, Hughes said, represent the tenant while also serving as landlords. That creates a conflict of interest, he says.
“It’s like a lawyer representing both the defendant and the plaintiff,” he said. “I’ve been on a crusade to end this conflict of interest.”
While every market is different, Hughes said he’s particularly partial to Seattle. The market is dynamic and the view from the company’s 25th floor Russell Investments Center office is “just beautiful,” he said. The vast majority of the Seattle office’s clients have been new to Hughes Marino, he added.
“We are really happy with the opening, the team, and the reception we’ve had from clients,” Hughes said. “It seems like we pick up a new client every day.”
This article originally appeared in the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Jason Hughes is chairman, CEO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle. A pioneer in the field of tenant representation, Jason has exclusively represented tenants and buyers for more than 25 years. He writes about topics in commercial real estate from a tenant’s perspective on his blog, Downtown Dirt. Contact Jason at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT or email@example.com to learn more.