Brothel-owning brothers to fund insurance litigation
The Chow brothers are putting up millions of dollars made from brothels, hotels and commercial property deals to provide financial backing to start-up litigation firm Tempest Litigation Funders.
Brothers John and Michael have teamed up with liquidators Damien Grant and Stephen Khov in a bid to help the ‘little guy’ in the courtroom on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, Fairfax Media has reported.
The kind of cases they are aiming at would include anyone who thinks they’ve unfairly missed out in an insurance payout, been stiffed in a commercial deal, or had their intellectual property ripped off.
Both parties said their tough, no-nonsense reputations would help in the adversarial world of litigation.
Tempest director Grant, who is also principal at Waterstone Insolvency, said the business would focus on claims of between $500,000 and $2 million.
“Our problem is we don’t have the deep pockets to do it, that’s why we’ve partnered up with the Chows.
“If the fundamentals of the case are strong, and the company has enough money to pay up, we will pursue it,” Fairfax Media reported him saying.
There was concern among some legal circles over the rise of private litigation firms such as Tempest and LPF Group.
Auckland University law academic Bill Hodge said the concern was over people funding litigation for a profit.
Another experienced litigator queried just what kind of percentage of the win the firm would be taking.
But the other side was that the firms would give New Zealanders greater access to justice.
New Zealand Criminal Bar Association president Tony Bouchier said: “It does give some people access to justice who ordinarily couldn’t afford it, and that’s got to be a good thing. Just so long as these lawyers are subject to the same rules as traditional lawyers,” Fairfax Media reported.