Kennedys expands & opens new office in Melbourne

Kennedys has expanded its presence in Australia with a new office in Melbourne, hiring Lander & Rogers partner Michael Kavanagh as the new office head.

The office is Kennedys’ second in Australia, complimenting its presence in Sydney. Kavanagh brings a three-lawyer team with him from Lander & Rogers. The firm will also transfer special counsel Nicholas Blackmore from its Hong Kong office.

Kennedys’ Melbourne practice is the firm’s seventh new office this year after a merger with US firm Carroll, McNulty & Kull added 100 lawyers and five offices to the firms network. Melbourne will bring the firm’s total office count up to 34.

Andrews said: “A number of our significant local and global clients are in Melbourne and we are very excited about working more closely with them.

“The addition of a local team will give clients access to a broader range of skills and additional resources particularly in high growth areas like casualty, liability, cyber and insurtech.”

Kavanagh is the firm’s eighth lateral hire this year and spent 16 years with his previous firm heading up Lander & Rogers’ casualty team. He will strengthen the firm’s insurance sector and become its 124th insurance partner globally. Together, litigation and insurance combined to account for 88 per cent of Kennedys’ turnover in the last financial year.

The Melbourne office continues the firm’s rapid expansion in 2017 after the US merger, a 24-strong hire from Hill Dickinson in Sheffield, a merger with Manchester-based litigation boutique berg, an office opening in Mexico and a formal association in Italy rounding off the first half of the year.

Kennedys managing partner Nick Thomas, who was reelected for a fifth time after running uncontested earlier this year, said: “This latest office opening reinforces our commitment to the Australian market by expanding our capacity to service national clients, and by recruiting talented and experienced insurance specialists who have the industry expertise that our clients demand.

“The expansion of the Australian practice aligns with the firm’s global strategy to be the go-to firm for the insurance sector and to provide the best on the ground capability where our clients need it.”

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