Harcourts Newcastle and PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie have settled their differences outside of court.
The feud between the two agencies cropped up when Joel Soldado, Sam Tsiaousis, Michael Hardy and Niki Bogdanovski resigned from PRD in June last year and started their own Harcourts franchise.
Kenterprise, trading as PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, was suing the agents, claiming the four allegedly breached their contracts, stole clients and used confidential information, taking the case to the Sydney Supreme Court, The Newcastle Herald reported at the time.
The Harcourts agents denied any wrongdoing and hit back and filed a cross-claim, saying they suffered loss and damages and alleged their former employer owed them money.
The court case was set to start this week, but The Newcastle Herald reported the two organisations have settled their differences behind closed doors.
PRD director Mark Kentwell would have preferred the matter be resolved in court, but he felt the “distraction” of taking a month out of the office for the trial was problematic.
“We agreed to a commercial settlement of the matter; certainly on our side this decision was not taken lightly,” he said.
“This was weighted against the backdrop of some exciting new business opportunities for PRDnationwide for which our time would have been diverted had the liability matter proceeded to hearing.”
It was a “commercial decision” to come to an agreement, rather than spend another year working it out through the courts, a Harcourts Newcastle spokesman said.
The details of the settlement mean the former PRD staff will not be able to disclose why they left the company.