Mishcon acquires majority stake in group actions management business

Co-founders of Brazil-based Somos become equity partners as City firm moves to take on bigger cases
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Mishcon de Reya has acquired a majority stake in group actions management business Somos, as the City firm moves to take on larger and more complex cases. 

Somos builds, develops and manages group action claims from inception through to conclusion. The Brazil-based company was founded in 2019 by lawyers Pedro Martins and Tomás Mousinho, who will be joining Mishcon’s dispute resolution department as equity partners. 

Mishcon said the acquisition of a majority stake in Somos was “a natural step to expand upon the capabilities and reach of the practice and represents a 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”.

Mishcon has existing capabilities for large claimant and defendant group actions and in recent years has developed some of the most high-profile funded cases in the UK, including leading an opt-out collective claim against BT on behalf of vulnerable consumers in Justin Le Patourel v BT Group Limited. The firm has also represented hundreds of businesses affected by the pandemic and their insurers’ failure to pay out claims, including a successful Supreme Court challenge on behalf of policyholders in 2021.  

The firm said that in addition to its existing practices it aimed to develop claims in three key areas, namely environmental, fintech and financial services. This includes claims for collective redress against multinationals based in the UK over deforestation, floods and other environmental pollution, supporting internationally based investors who have lost money in fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes and claims against financial providers mis-selling financial products 

Hugo Plowman, partner and chair of dispute resolution at Mishcon, said: “Our capabilities in group action claims has been supercharged in the last five years, in large part due to the addition and development of 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.” 

Martins and Mousinho are internationally qualified in Brazil and Portugal and are Registered Foreign Lawyers in England and Wales. Both men were founding partners of group action law firm Pogust Goodhead (previously PGMBM) and played a key role in the origination of the Mariana dam disaster claim, which has grown to represent 700,000 claimants in a £36bn action against BHP in the UK for environmental damage caused by the dam’s collapse. 

For its part Somos offers services including marketing claims to potential claimants, signing up the claimant group through formal onboarding and compliance checks, support for the claimant group during the case, preparing court materials and managing distribution of proceeds awarded. 

Martins and Mousinho said they were excited to help grow Mishcon’s group action practice.  

“The firm has an outstanding track record and having that together with new operational capabilities 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,” they said.    

Mishcon’s Somos move follows the firm entering the ALSP market earlier this month when it snapped up flexible working platform Flex Legal, in a move it hailed as a “major step” in its 10-year growth strategy to build a world-class consultancy centred on law. 

Over the past year the firm has also set up shop in Saudi Arabia and announced a “strategic combination” with tech-focused law firm Taylor Vinters.    

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