Hedge Funds Showing Increased Interest in Litigation Claims

It’s no secret that over the last several years, Wall Street has been pouring money into the litigation space – whether indirectly by capitalizing litigation funders, or directly via their own investments into the space.

However, the recent revelation of Baupost Group’s $1 billion purchase of legal claims against utility company PG&E illustrates both the scope and scale of the hedge fund world’s interest in the legal sector.

As reported in Yahoo News, billionaire Seth Karman’s Baupost Group has long been one of the titans of the hedge fund world. Now Baupost is spreading its wings, having purchased $1 billion of legal claims against utility giant PG&E.

Interestingly, Baupost appears to have purchased the claims as a hedge on its investment in PG&E stock. Klarman’s fund invested in PG&E, which subsequently plummeted over 80% after the California wildfires left the utility company $30 billion in debt and facing imminent bankruptcy.

However, in a process known as subrogation, Baupost also purchased legal claims against PG&E, held by the utility company’s insurer. The hedge fund reportedly paid 35 cents on the dollar for those claims, and now maintains the right to sue PG&E, the very same company it invested in.

This is not the first subrogation claim Baupost has pursued, and it is currently engaged with another similar claim. Sometimes the hedge fund purchases a partial subrogation, and partners with an insurer in the litigation of an entity. All of this shows how far Wall Street is willing to go when it comes to capitalizing legal claims.