08 Jun 2021

Asertis announces new Commercial Disputes Funding division and financing of Mercedes group action

By Harshiv Thakerar

Litigation funder Asertis today announces the launch of a new commercial litigation and arbitration disputes funding division backed by a well-known fund with available capital of over €1.7bn (approx. £1.46bn), as well as their financing of the Slater & Gordon Mercedes group litigation, and their new CIO and a further lateral hire from Harbour Litigation Funding.

Known for their insolvency litigation funding, Asertis’s new service will focus on funding commercial disputes, including those relating to general commercial, competition and corporate, consumer and group action litigations and infrastructure. With substantial funds available from Arrow Credit Opportunities SCSp and related investing entities, a leading European fund investing in distressed and other assets with total capital commitment of c.€1.7bn, Asertis is able to make funding decisions quickly at its own discretion, from its own balance sheet.

Led by Chief Investment Officer Harshiv Thakerar, formerly of Global Growth Capital and Augusta Ventures, Asertis is positioned to fund commercial disputes across England and Wales, offshore markets, other common law jurisdictions and the EU.

J-P Pitt, formerly a Director of Litigation Funding at Harbour Litigation Funding, also recently joined Asertis as an Investment Manager. J-P brings with him extensive expertise in commercial disputes funding, asset recovery and enforcement, drawing on his previous experience at Harbour and as a qualified solicitor.

Asertis also announces today that it is financing the Mercedes Group Action led by Slater and Gordon. The claim centres around allegations that Mercedes, similar to other carmakers embroiled in the dieselgate scandal, installed software in their diesel engines to cheat emissions tests. Slater and Gordon are the joint lead solicitors in the Volkswagen Emissions group action, which is thought to be the largest group action in British legal history. Mercedes owners may be eligible to join if they have purchased or leased, whether new or second hand, a diesel Mercedes made between 2008 and 2018.

Harshiv will head the commercial disputes funding division, working with J-P and CEO Ian Madej to build on Asertis’s established insolvency funding division and spearhead the growth of the new commercial disputes service.

Commenting on the launch of the commercial disputes funding division and his appointment, Harshiv said: “I am delighted to have joined Asertis, working with the team to develop and grow our new commercial disputes funding service. Although a relatively new entrant into the increasingly crowded commercial litigation funding market, we are in the enviable position of being nimble and able to make funding decisions with certainty, autonomy and speed.”

J-P said: “I am thrilled to have joined the Asertis team at such an exciting time in their development. I look forward to using my experience in litigation funding to deliver agile funding decisions, rapidly, under this very significant credit line.”

Asertis CEO Ian Madej commented: “Harshiv and J-P both have an extensive understanding of complex disputes, particularly those with a multi-jurisdictional dimension. Asertis has grown rapidly since its launch last year and we have already funded and purchased several significant cases, including the Mercedes group action litigation. Coupled with our new membership of the Association of Litigation Funders, Asertis has fast established itself in the market and we look forward to working with Harshiv and J-P to continue our rapid growth.”

The news was featured in Litigation Finance Journal here, Litigation Futures, here, Litigation Finance Insider, here, and CDR News, here.