Home Estate Planning Mishcon de Reya acquires majority stake in group action business

Mishcon de Reya acquires majority stake in group action business

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City law firm Mishcon de Reya announced its acquisition of a majority stake in a group actions management business, as part of a plan to allow the firm to take on bigger and more complex cases.

The firm has acquired a stake in Somos, which is a group action management business that builds, develops and manages group action claims from inception through to conclusion.

Based in Brazil, Somos was co-founded in 2019 by lawyers Pedro Martins and Tomás Mousinho. Both were crucial to the origination of the Mariana dam disaster claim, which represents 700,000 claimants in a £36bn action against BHP in England for environmental damage and devastation caused by a dam collapse.

Both Martins and Mousinho will also be joining the firm as equity partners in its dispute resolution department.

Mishcon states that the majority stake in Somos “is a natural step to expand upon the capabilities and reach of the practice and represents a further significant step in the implementation of the firm’s strategic 10-year vision, enabling the firm to take on bigger and more complex cases than ever before”.

Currently, Mishcon partner Sarah Houghton and managing associate Gwen Ballin-Reeler are leading a £1.3bn class action against telecoms giant BT, which the trial kicked off on Monday.

Just last month, the City firm announced its first strategic acquisition in the alternative legal services (ALS) market, after it acquired flexible legal resourcing business Flex Legal.

Speaking on today’s announcement, partner and chair of dispute resolution at Mishcon, Hugo Plowman said: “Our pedigree in group action claims has been supercharged in the last five years, in large part due to the addition and development of leading insurance disputes and competition practices at the firm.”

“By acquiring a majority stake in Somos, we will be able to complement the services we already provide with an industry-leading capability to develop, manage and execute the largest and most complex group actions ever seen in the UK.”

“I am thrilled that our ambitions align with that of Pedro and Tomás and commend them both on what they have built with Somos and what we will continue to build together,” he added.

Martins and Mousinho added that they could “not be more excited” to join Mishcon de Reya as equity partners and help grow “what is already a robust group action practice”.

They said: “The firm has an outstanding track record and having that together with new operational capabilities certainly means we will be able to litigate the largest and most complex cases out there.”

“We look forward to using our experience in international cases to tackle harmful conduct worldwide and secure redress for our clients, irrespective of where they are,” Martins and Mousinho added.

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