An attorney whose firm represents the largest single group of Northern California wildfire survivors in the PG&E bankruptcy is partially funded by some of the very Wall Street firms he’s been negotiating against.
San Antonio, Texas-based lawyer Mikal Watts, of the firm Watts Guerra LLP, told KQED he's known that his credit line included financing from private equity heavyweight Apollo Global Management and investment firm Centerbridge Partners.
The firms represent competing groups that have sat across the bargaining table from each other, while also negotiating against wildfire survivors in the PG&E bankruptcy.
The PG&E wildfire cases are among the more recent mass tort cases Watts has mounted. That kind of complex litigation can take years and cost millions, which is where Centerbridge and Apollo came in.
Their financial dealings with Watts were unearthed by a fire survivor in a PG&E bankruptcy court filing this week. It quotes Watts telling clients at a December town hall in Santa Rosa that he came to "realize ... that part of my operational line of credit ... had been in effect cordoned off, some to Centerbridge, some to Apollo" among others.