The firm, led by Roger Simmons, is representing David Lerner, a resident of New York, in pursuing a Complaint filed recently in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Lerner is suing multiple defendants for their alleged refusal to pay him significant monies, and to convey an ownership stake to him for his efforts to acquire the rights to, and to raise capital for, a new regional restaurant venture. Lerner was instrumental in introducing two high-profile individuals in the restaurant industry, Hugh Connerty and Chris Sullivan to the Besito restaurant originally based in New York and Connecticut. Lerner played a significant role in efforts to acquire the rights to market and expand the Besito restaurant brand and to raise capital for the expansion efforts. Indeed, the effort to expand Besito is well underway.
Connerty is credited with originating the Longhorn Steakhouse concept, was instrumental in the growth of the Hooters restaurant chain, was the original franchisee of Outback Steakhouse, and is a former president and managing partner of Outback Steakhouse International. Sullivan is the founder, former chairman and CEO of Outback Steakhouse and was also involved in the Steak and Ale and Bennigan’s restaurant chains. Additional defendants in the case include Consul Partners, LLC and Besito, LLC.
Besides their client’s contract claims, Gordon & Simmons’ client has asserted claims against the defendants ranging from defamation and trade disparagement, to fraud, and tortious interference.