Millionaire property magnates and brothel owners the Chow brothers are pledging to help the ‘little guy’ with the launch of Tempest – a no-win, no-fee litigation start-up.
After meeting liquidators Damien Grant and Stephen Khov while on the opposing side of the liquidation of a Chow company, John and Michael Chow have now teamed up with the pair, using their success to help small entities with access to litigation funding.
“We remember what it was like to have a good case to take on a big fish on a minnow’s budget. It’s not a fair fight,” John Chow told NZ Lawyer.
“Now that we are reasonably big fish we want to use our resource base to help others get outcomes based on the strength of their case, not the size of their bank balance.”
Famous for their ‘rags to riches’ story, the brothers have made an estimated $75 million fortune from their ownership of brothels, hotels and other commercial property deals, Stuff.co.nz reported.
Tempest will be NZ’s second professional litigation company, only taking on cases with a good chance of success. Chow said the fees from wins will give much better returns than many other investments.
“We thought Tempest was a great start-up business to finance because of their lack of competition in New Zealand,” said Chow.
“We generally like to finance start-ups rather than take equity positions,” Chow said of the investment.
“We have lots of experience in the legal industry, as plaintiffs and defendants we are well known for our no-nonsense approach to business so if we think we have a good case we pursue it.
“Now that we have the financial resources to pursue any case we want, we tend to win more cases, hence why we know it’s not a fair system on those without deep pockets.”
Tempest director Grant told Stuff.co.nz that they had come across many cases without the funds to sue. The firm will focus on claims of between $500,000 and $2m.