Kennedys seals Manchester merger as firm posts 8% revenue rise

Kennedys has posted an 8% revenue increase for 2016-17 alongside the announcement of a merger with Manchester firm Berg.

Berg, which is led by founder and senior partner Reuben Berg and chief executive Alison Loveday, specialises in banking and financial regulatory work and commercial law. It has 50 staff, including eight partners, according to the firm’s website.

Last year Kennedys moved into larger premises in Manchester to accommodate growth in the city, and Berg’s 50-strong team will move into the new offices by the end of the year.

Senior partner Berg commented: “We have turned down many opportunities over the years that weren’t the right fit to grow in the way we wanted. Kennedys is the right fit for us to take our entrepreneurial spirit into a global arena, without compromising our imaginative approach.”

Berg and Loveday will join Kennedys as partners, while Kennedys will undertake a full TUPE consultation with the rest of Berg’s staff before the merger to determine their exact roles. In a statement, the firm said it was aiming to retain all existing staff, if possible.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas (pictured) added: “Our two firms are a complementary fit, and the merger allows us to offer clients significantly enhanced commercial litigation and complementary services.”

Kennedys has also announced its financial results for 2016-17, with revenue growing from £138.8m to £149.9m.

Headcount increased by 10% during the course of the year, boosted in part by nine lateral partner hires and a merger with London shipping boutique Waltons & Morse.

Continental Europe saw strong revenue growth, with a combined turnover increase of 118% from £6.5m to £14.2m. For the first time, the results also include a full financial year’s contribution from the firm’s new offices in Denmark and Moscow.

The firm’s Dublin office also increased its revenue from £3.5m to £4.9m, a jump of 41%.

Thomas said: “The strength of our strategy in anticipating and delivering the right capabilities for clients globally, through appointments and strategic mergers, is evident in these figures.

“We have seen strong European financial growth this year as new office openings have matured, and we expect to see this replicated in other markets over the next year as office openings in those locations develop.”

However, the firm also confirmed that its debt had increased to 14% of its turnover. The firm did not provide any profitability figures. Last year, the firm reported profit per equity partner of £458,000, an increase of 8% on the previous year.

On 1 June this year, Kennedys merged with US insurance firm Carroll McNulty & Kull, bringing about 100 lawyers and 43 partners to the firm, as well as offices in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Texas, taking it to 32 offices worldwide.