Monday, December 22, 2014

Venture capital for lawsuits

There are lots of different kinds of financial markets, of which venture capital is among the most interesting and varied. Nevertheless, this headline struck me:

Steven Cohen’s Ex-Wife Gets Outside Financing for Lawsuit

"Helping to fuel the long-running legal battle is Asta Funding, a financial backer of a Beverly Hills, Calif., firm that has provided litigation financing to Ms. Cohen, according to court documents and people briefed on the matter. Asta and the firm that is financing Ms. Cohen’s lawsuit — Balance Point Divorce Funding — have an agreement to share in the proceeds of legal recoveries by clients.
"Balance Point is part of a niche business that provides financing in drawn-out matrimonial cases to litigants with wealthy spouses. Only a handful of companies provide such financing in the United States.

One of Balance Point’s main competitors is BBL Churchill, a New York firm that offers high-interest loans to a divorcing spouse in need of cash to pay legal bills. The firm, unlike Balance Point, does not seek to collect a portion of any divorce settlement and instead looks to collect on the loan at the end of the litigation. This summer, BBL Churchill secured financial backing from a large private equity firm, said a person briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

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