Investment management firm Pretium jumps into legal finance

  • New “legal opportunities team” led by Big Law alums to have broad focus
  • Group will work with corporations, law firms

(Reuters) – Pretium Partners LLC, an investment management firm that specializes in residential, corporate and structured credit, has launched a new legal investment group.

New York-based Pretium has about $26 billion in assets under management, according to the firm. Its new “legal opportunities team,” announced Monday, makes Pretium one of the newest entrants into the legal finance market. In November, former Fortress Investment Group partner Brandon Baer launched litigation funder Contingency Capital.

The team will work with companies, law firms and others to invest in “legal and commercial opportunities,” the firm said, including complex commercial disputes, patent and intellectual property, arbitrations and bankruptcy, among other investment focus areas. Pretium specifically noted that the firm won’t invest in consumer litigation finance.

Matthew Cantor will lead the new strategy. Cantor, previously general counsel for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, joined Pretium last year as a senior managing director focused on bankruptcy and distressed assets. Among other roles, he was a partner earlier in his career at Kirkland & Ellis and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, according to Pretium’s announcement of his hire in June 2020.

Charles (Chad) Schmerler will serve as head of litigation finance. He was previously CEO of litigation finance firm Yorkside Capital LLC, which he founded after practicing at Norton Rose Fulbright. Schmerler and the rest of the Yorkside Capital team joined Pretium in June, according to the Pretium representative.

The firm representative said the new team will initially consist of six dedicated professionals. The group has experience in litigation finance, legal risk monetization, intellectual property and forensic accounting and damages analysis, Pretium said in its announcement.

“As many of today’s fastest growing companies and industries mature, there will be increased demand for experienced and well-resourced firms to assist them in managing their legal risks particularly in areas of intellectual property, patents and technology,” Pretium CEO and founder Don Mullen said in a statement.

“With the expertise of our legal strategies team, we are excited to offer investors a diversifying investment with attractive returns that are minimally correlated to the broader economic cycle,” Mullen said.

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Sara Merken

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com

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Margarete Damron