The mystery man behind the destruction of Gawker

Aron D’Souza is the man behind Peter Thiel's successful campaign to destroy Gawker through litigation, according to an exposé by Buzzfeed News. The whole thing seems to dance pretty close to the line for what constitutes maintenance.

For those who are not up on obscure legal concepts like champerty and maintenance and so on:

At Common Law the offense of Champerty and Maintenance arose when a stranger bargained with a party to a legal action, undertaking to pay for the litigation in exchange for a promise of a portion of the recovery. The common-law doctrines of champerty and maintenance were designed to stop vexatious and speculative litigation supported by officious intermeddlers (nonparties with improper motives). These common-law principles have been adopted in varying degrees in the United States, depending on the particular state.

Since no action along those lines was taken, it must not have risen to that standard. Via BuzzFeed news:

It’s unclear how D’Souza and Thiel first met, but according to one source, the Australian, who had studied law at Oxford, dined with the Facebook board member in spring 2011. D’Souza was aware of Thiel’s public comments likening Valleywag to al-Qaeda, and presented a brazen idea: Pay someone or create a company to hire lawyers to go after Gawker.

Three sources confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Melbourne-based D’Souza, who has few public connections to Thiel, was the mastermind of Thiel’s legal strategy.

This Man Helped Peter Thiel Demolish Gawker (BuzzFeed News)

Photocollage: Wikimedia

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