Cushman & Wakefield Race Gender Discrimination Suit

Case name: Nicole Urquhart-Bradley v. Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., and Shawn Mobley

Case type: Race Discrimination and Gender Discrimination

Filed in: United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Docket: Case no: 1:18-cv-02213-RCL

Case Summary

In 2018, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed suit on behalf of Nicole Urquhart-Bradley against commercial real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield, the plaintiff’s former employer, and CEO Shawn Mobley, alleging race and gender discrimination and retaliation.

At Cushman & Wakefield, Ms. Urquhart-Bradley rose to the position of President of Valuation & Advisory for the Americas. As one of only two female service line leaders in the company—and the lone Black female executive—Ms. Urquhart-Bradley was regularly tapped as an ambassador for “diversity” so that Cushman & Wakefield could project an image of inclusion, despite the company’s entrenched “old boys’ network” culture, the Complaint alleged.

Behind the scenes, Ms. Urquhart-Bradley repeatedly faced discriminatory career roadblocks despite her stellar record of performance, the Complaint alleged. When she succeeded her white male predecessor as President of Global V&A in 2016, Cushman & Wakefield would not attach the word “Global” to her title. Meanwhile, the company asked Ms. Urquhart-Bradley to serve on the executive committee of the newly formed Diversity Council, which quickly dissolved. That same year, the Complaint alleged, Ms. Urquhart-Bradley helped prevent V&A executives from being poached by rivals. But while the company offered millions in retention bonuses to several of these white male subordinates, Ms. Urquhart-Bradley was accused of disloyalty and terminated by CEO Shawn Bradley when she asked for a fraction of the same benefits, according to the Complaint. Cushman & Wakefield thereafter falsely claimed that her separation from the company was “mutual,” the Complaint alleged, and insisted on enforcing the company’s 12-month non-compete agreement, impeding her ability to find another position in her field of expertise.

In 2022, the matter concluded.

Procedural History