London firm Mishcon de Reya has acquired a majority stake in Somos, a global group actions management business set up by two of the founding partners of PGMBM.
It will now seek to expand its group action work by targeting environmental, fintech and financial services claims.
The founders of Somos and now equity partners at Mishcon, Pedro Martins and Tomás Mousinho, both played critical roles in originating the Brazilian Mariana Dam claim, at £36bn and more than 720,000 claims the largest in UK legal history, which is being run by PGMBM.
Brazil-based Somos 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 already has an active group actions capability, representing hundreds of businesses badly affected by the pandemic and their insurers’ failure to pay out claims, securities claims, and running an opt-out collective claim against BT on behalf of vulnerable consumers.
It said the acquisition was “a natural step to expand upon the capabilities and reach of the practice” and was a further step in the firm’s strategic 10-year vision, “enabling the firm to take on bigger and more complex cases than ever before”.
Mishcon said it was keen to develop claims for collective redress against multinationals based in the UK over deforestation, floods and other environmental pollution; support internationally based investors who have lost money in fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes; and run claims against financial providers mis-selling financial products.
Mr Martins and Mr Mousinho, who set up Somos in 2019, qualified in Brazil and Portugal and are registered foreign lawyers in England and Wales.
Hugo Plowman, Mishcon’s chair of dispute resolution, said the deal would “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”.
In a joint statement, Mr Martins and Mr Mousinho said: “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.”