Elvis Presley's estate EPE is still embroiled in a long-running legal action to extract cash from RCA records in a case that alleges Elvis was "unjustly exploited by his record company". If the estate wins, a hefty percentage of any payout will go to a litigation funding business, Calunius Capital, set up by Leslie Perrin in the island of Guernsey.
Two types of clients predominate, Perrin told a recent conference, "David v Goliath" claims where small firms do not have the resources to take on larger businesses, and risk averse organisations that fear pouring more money into a court case without knowing whether they will eventually win.
The Presley lawsuit, filed in August 2011, seeks more than $9m in backdated royalties and a share of future revenue – alleging a 1973 buyout agreement left the singer collecting only $10 a year for worldwide rights on each of his songs.
"We are finally getting revenge for 'The King'," Perrin said. "The estate is now owned by private equity institutions. RCA is now owned by Sony. Both are based in Madison Avenue, New York, but the court case [over disputed copyright earnings] is taking place in Munich."
Presley was stationed in Germany as a soldier in the army in the late 1950s. The country is "Elvis crazy" and is responsible for 10% of the world's Elvis Presley sales, Perrin said at the time the suit was filed. The firms typically take between 25% and 35% of any settlement as their fee