Specialist, tier 1 Chambers & Partners ranked, litigation insurance broker TheJudge Group has been acquired by the Thomas Miller Group, an international provider of market leading insurance and professional services. TheJudge, established in 2000, joined the Thomas Miller Group’s portfolio of specialist insurance and financial services businesses, which currently writes in excess of $1bn in premiums a year and has over USD $3.5bn AUM, operating from 18 offices around the world.
In a further significant move following the acquisition, former owners of the TheJudge together with Thomas Miller have launched a new litigation finance fund, Erso Capital (www.ersocap.com).
Erso will be led by founders Matthew Amey, James Blick and James Delaney, all of whom are long serving directors and former owners of TheJudge. The team are highly experienced industry professionals having been active in the market since its inception.
Between discretionary funds, single managed accounts and co-investment funds, Erso has access to capital in excess of USD $1.0 billion. Erso will invest in litigation and arbitration finance opportunities across the globe. Erso’s substantial institutional investors means it is in a position to consider opportunities from as low as £200,000 capital commitments to sums exceeding £200m.
James Delaney, co-founding member and director of Erso Capital 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.”
James Blick, co-founder of Erso Capital based in the 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. 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.”
On the timing of Erso’s launch, Caroline Parker-Beaudrias, a former Hughes Hubbard & Reed litigator who recently joined Erso Capital as Investment Counsel, added: “The current economic environment has fueled an already strong demand for litigation finance from law firms and corporate clients. Managing cashflow and maintaining liquidity are going to be key for many businesses through 2021 and outside litigation finance has an important role to play.”
Bruce Kesterton, CEO of the Thomas Miller Group, said: “The acquisition of TheJudge Group adds to the breadth and strength of our Group’s offering. TheJudge has a respected and trusted name in this specialist industry and comes with a renowned management team in their sector. We look forward to helping to accelerate the development plans for TheJudge Group and its new litigation fund Erso with the support of Thomas Miller’s global platform of businesses and relationships.”
Garry Manley, Partner at Appleby’s Isle of Man office, advised on the establishment of Erso Capital. “We are delighted to have assisted with the establishment of Erso Capital. They are a high-quality team underpinned by substantial institutional capital. The fact they have the close relationship to TheJudge and the Thomas Miller Group is a unique string to their bow, which creates a very exciting opportunity for the legal sector.”
Alexandra Poe, Partner at Hughes Huddard & Reed’s New York office, led Erso’s team of US corporate advisers comments: “With this transaction Erso has succeeded in bringing the team’s substantial commercial litigation funding experience to the market with valuable partners and significant capital support. It has been a pleasure to have advised on the formation of Erso Capital and we look forward to working with the management team going forward.”