Mishcon de Reya LLP has today announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Somos, a global group actions management business. The two founders of Somos, Pedro Martins and Tomás Mousinho, have been admitted as Equity Partners in the firm's Dispute Resolution department.
Somos is a full-service group actions management business that builds, develops and manages group action claims from inception through to conclusion. This includes marketing and advertising a claim to potential claimants, signing up the claimant group through formal onboarding and compliance checks, support for and communication with the claimant group throughout the case, preparing court materials, and managing distribution of any proceeds awarded.
Mishcon de Reya LLP has existing market-leading capabilities for large claimant and defendant group actions and has developed some of the most successful and publicised funded cases in the UK and internationally in recent years. This includes representing hundreds of businesses badly affected by the pandemic and their insurers' failure to pay out claims (including a successful Supreme Court challenge on behalf of policyholders in 2021), securities claims for large institutional investors, pension and sovereign wealth funds, and leading an opt-out collective claim against BT on behalf of vulnerable consumers in Justin Le Patourel v BT Group Limited.
The acquisition of a 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.
In addition to these existing strong practices, the firm is invested in, though not limited to, developing claims in three key areas:
- Environmental: claims for collective redress against multinationals based in the UK over deforestation, floods and other environmental pollution
- Fin tech: supporting internationally based investors who have lost money in fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes
- Financial services: claims against financial providers mis-selling financial products
Based in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte in Brazil, Somos was co-founded in 2019 by Registered Foreign Lawyers Pedro Martins and Tomás Mousinho. Pedro and Tomás are former partners and co-founders of a leading group action law firm. Both are qualified in Brazil and Portugal and are Registered Foreign Lawyers in England and Wales. Pedro and Tomás were crucial to the origination of the Mariana dam disaster claim, which went on to represent 700,000 claimants in an action against BHP in the UK for environmental damage and devastation caused by a dam collapse. With a claim value of £36bn, this is by far the largest claim of its kind to go to court in England and Wales.
Partner and Chair of Dispute Resolution at Mishcon de Reya LLP 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."
Pedro Martins and Tomás Mousinho added: "We could not be more excited to be joining Mishcon de Reya as Equity Partners and helping to grow what is already a robust group action practice – 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."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Global Legal Post