Special Report: The Sulu heirs’ claims – A thorn in Malaysia’s side
The eight heirs, who are supposedly “regular folk” without lavish lifestyles, have been able to take on the Malaysian government, hiring top-notch lawyers with several millions in funding from Therium Capital Management Ltd.
(The Edge) – THERE is supposedly an immense amount of wrangling behind the scenes at the US$14.92 billion (RM66.39 billion) claim and ongoing dispute between the eight heirs of the late Sultan of Sulu — Sultan Jamalul Kiram II — and the Malaysian government.
For starters, the eight heirs, who are supposedly “regular folk” without lavish lifestyles, have been able to take on the Malaysian government, hiring top-notch lawyers with several millions in funding from Therium Capital Management Ltd.
In response to an email from The Edge on whether it is funding the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu, Therium replies, “Yes. Therium is funding the claimants.”
Therium, on its website, says it is “one of the longest established litigation funding firms in the world, with current deployed capital at circa US$1 billion and a strong track record of litigation investment across 12 funds”.
“We have funded claims with a total value of circa US$100 billion across the world, including many of the most high-profile funded cases,” it adds. (See sidebar on Therium.)
A logical conclusion then would be that Therium had done the requisite research, come to the conclusion that the Sultan of Sulu’s eight heirs have a strong case against Malaysia and decided to fund them, which should see the fund making gains from their claims.
“You may call them (Therium) whatever you want, but they obviously think the descendants of the Sultan of Sulu have a case, or at least will be able to extract something substantial from Malaysia,” one source with knowledge of the dispute says.
“Think about it, the heirs sought legal advice from Paul Cohen and Elisabeth Mason in London … big names. Who would fund such an endeavour if they didn’t see light at the end of the tunnel?”