Divorce lawsuits of the filthy rich: a new complication

It’s Thanksgiving, so when I read this in yesterday’s New York Times (Steven Cohen’s Ex-Wife Gets Outside Financing for Lawsuit – NYTimes.com.) I thought, “Thank you, Patricia Cohen, for news about another luxurious, bitter divorce.”

But it’s more than that. Because take a look at that headline. “Outside financing?” What is this?

It’s the rich person’s version of usurious loans to plaintiffs. About which I have written with admitted hostility a number of times.

But when a plaintiff has fairly realistic expectations of an enormous settlement (against a rich ex-husband, in this case), those loan companies are not called usurers. They are called “litigation financiers.”

The one “backing” (that’s not my word; it’s the Times’s) Patricia Cohen is called Balance Point Divorce Funding − a surprisingly non-euphemistic name.

I’m thinking that big mutual fund companies could start funds that invest in rich people’s divorces. Or am I being way too derivative here?


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