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25 February 2021

Former TheJudge owners set up litigation fund Erso Capital with the Thomas Miller Group

Deal follows Thomas Miller's acquisition of litigation insurance broker TheJudge Group

By Ben Edwards

A view of the City of London from Fenchurch Street. The Gherkin, 52-54 Lime Street (The Scalpel) along with the construction of a new tower.

Fenchurch Street, London

The former owners of litigation insurance broker TheJudge Group have launched a new litigation finance fund with the Thomas Miller Group following the latter’s acquisition of the broker last year.

The new fund – Erso Capital – will have access to more than $1bn of capital through its discretionary funds, single managed accounts and co-investment funds. The fund will be led by founders and former TheJudge owners Matthew Amey, James Blick and James Delaney.

Delaney said: “We see Erso as a next generation litigation funder. We have the capital resources and appetite to consider a very broad spectrum of commercial disputes, while also being adaptable to seamlessly work alongside the other risk management tools available via TheJudge, including contingency fee insurance.”

The firm, which has offices in Fenchurch Street, London, Irvine, California, and on the Isle of Man, said it will invest in litigation and arbitration finance opportunities across the globe. It added that it would consider opportunities as low as £200,000 in capital commitments, to sums exceeding £200m.

Blick, who will be based in the firm’s California office, said: “The launch of Erso forms part of our strategic plans, alongside our partners at Thomas Miller, to deliver a unique platform of financing and risk management solutions for legal assets in all our key jurisdictions.”

He added: “Alongside Erso Capital’s launch, we are continuing to develop and expand the suite of specialist litigation insurance products offered by TheJudge Group, meaning we are able to deliver highly adaptable solutions to our clients to better meet their specific needs.”

Erso’s investment counsel Caroline Parker-Beaudrias said the current economic climate was fuelling demand for litigation finance from both law firms and corporate legal teams.

That appetite for litigation funding has resulted in a number of alliances between law firms and litigation funders. Last August, DLA Piper struck a deal with Litigation Capital Management (LCM) to give the law firm’s clients access to up to £150m of funds to support large-scale commercial disputes. That followed similar agreements with Clyde & Co and at least one other firm.

In March last year, LCM announced the first close of its £150m Global Alternative Returns Fund, marking its return to managing third-party funds.

In a performance update last week, Burford Capital announced its best year for portfolio performance to date, with strong gains and increased returns from funded claims although new business was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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