LAS VEGAS-While excavation for the multibillion dollar Vegas incarnation of New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel has been pushed back into 2009, lawyers for the Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer have been busy with related off-site work. El-Ad Group has reportedly settled with the broker who initiated the $1.25-billion land purchase for the project and then sued when he wasn’t paid while another legal battle over its use of the Plaza name for the project heads to trial.

The broker is David Atwell, a longtime matchmaker for properties along the Las Vegas Strip. Operating as Resort Properties of America, he has represented the likes of Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson, Bank of America and Hilton Hotels, among others. In 1998, he brokered the record-breaking $157-million sale of the 168-acre Dunes Hotel and Country Club, which is now home to the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts, and MGM’s massive new CityCenter development.

Atwell sued Tel Aviv-based El-Ad in mid- 2007 for $12.5 million, the 1% brokerage fee he felt he was owed for initiating the transaction between the principal owner of El-Ad Group, Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, and then land owner Wichita billionaire Phil Ruffin.

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