Clyde & Co enters Miami with addition of local litigation boutique

Clyde & Co has launched in Miami with the addition of local litigation firm Thornton Davis Fein.

All of Thornton’s five equity partners, 35 lawyers and other staff will be joining Clydes.

The insurance-led firm will have a total of ten offices in the Americas, including six in the US, when the deal completes in July.

Thornton Davis Fein senior partner Barry Davis said: “With our shared approach to sectors and its commitment to building a sizeable US presence, joining Clyde & Co has been a very natural decision.

“We now have huge potential to further expand in Florida and to play a part in Clyde & Co’s US growth story.”

In addition to the new team, Clydes’ litigation partner Ricardo Lewandowski will relocate from London to launch a Latin American liaison service in Miami.

Michael Knoerzer, a member of Clyde & Co’s US management board, added: “Our ambition in the United States is to be the pre-eminent insurance coverage law firm for global insurance carriers and the London market, and to build a network of trial and defence capability across the country.

“Florida’s supply chain of bad faith litigation and property claims fits squarely within the strengths of our firm.”

Speaking to Legal Week in March, Knoerzer hinted heavily at further US expansion into Chicago and Miami, saying he was talking to potential laterals “every damn day”. The firm also has its sights on Iran as a possible location for further growth.

The Miami office follows the firm’s dramatic expansion in Australia, where it brought on board a 30-strong team, including five partners, from Sydney insurance boutique Lee & Lyons in February.

In September last year, fellow insurance firm DAC Beachcroft launched its own base in Miami with the hire of former AIG lawyer Sascha Stullenberg.

This week, DAC Beachcroft has also signed a best friends agreement with Belfast firm McKinty and Wright.

McKinty and Wright is a specialist insurance defence firm with seven partners and 19 lawyers.

The agreement, which takes effect from 1 June, will lead to the firms sharing clients and combining marketing efforts.

David Pollit, DAC Beachcroft’s managing partner, said: “With similar cultures and the client synergies both firms share, this move gives us a great opportunity to build an effective and sustainable relationship with a trusted partner to service our burgeoning Northern Ireland network.”

He added: “We look forward to working closely with McKinty and Wright and developing our relationship still further over the coming years.”