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Alteris Inc., a services-oriented, complete solutions provider for the managing general agency community and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), announced today the acquisition of Sonoma Risk Insurance Agency, a litigation solutions provider and the first and only agency in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to providing contract litigation insurance (CLI).
Sonoma Risk Insurance Agency is based in Los Angeles and will continue to operate as a separate legal entity offering its products, plaintiff contract litigation insurance and defendant contract litigation insurance.
This niche insurance, underwritten by Zurich in North America, is targeted to individuals, businesses and corporations, and helps protect plaintiffs and defendants from paying their adversary's attorneys' fees should they lose their case. Until Sonoma Risk introduced contract litigation insurance in 2010, litigants in the U.S. did not have a way to insure against paying their adversary attorneys’ fees in contract litigation.
“A CLI policy reduces a significant financial unknown in litigation,” explains Sonoma Risk Insurance Agency President, and former litigator, Kevin Martin. “Policyholders feel more secure about their litigation risk exposure – they have a distinct advantage over their uninsured adversaries because they can make the decision whether to proceed to trial based on the merits of their case, without the influence and fear of an adverse attorney’s fee award.
“Since we started, we have insured parties in cases ranging from those in the local California courts to those that have been covered on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,” said Mr. Martin. What is common to each of these cases is the recognition that an insured with a CLI policy maintains a distinct advantage over the adversary.
“Our partnership with Alteris is an excellent strategic fit,” Mr. Martin continues. “Through Alteris’ program-centric philosophy, discipline and strength, we plan to leverage our expertise in the area of litigation to offer a full suite of litigation solutions and products.”