Kennedys expansion continues as firm recruits four-strong team for Melbourne launch

Kennedys is opening its second base in Australia, with the launch of an office in Melbourne.

The firm, which opened in Sydney in 2006, has recruited insurance partner Michael Kavanagh from Australian firm Lander & Rogers to head up the new office.

Kavanagh led the casualty team at Lander and has a client list that includes energy, property, utility and insurance companies. He is followed to Kennedys by Lander senior associates Emily Unger and Uki Murphy and lawyer Angela Woodward.

The team will be supported by Australian-qualified special counsel Nicholas Blackmore, who is transferring from Kennedys’ Hong Kong office.

The move into Melbourne marks the firm’s seventh new office this year, following the launch of a base in Mexico City in January, as well as the addition of five US offices with its merger with US firm Carroll McNulty & Kull (CMK) in May.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: “This latest office opening reinforces our commitment to the Australian market by expanding our capacity to service national clients. The expansion of the Australian practice aligns with the firm’s global strategy to be the go-to firm for the insurance sector.”

Kennedys Australia managing partner added: “We are planning to grow our Australian practice further to mirror the broad range of areas we cover in Sydney and around the world, and this is an exciting first step.”

Kennedys also recently announced a merger with Manchester firm Berg, a deal that will hand it around 50 extra staff, including eight partners.

During 2016-17 the firm saw revenues rise by 8%, increasing from £138.8m to £149.9m. In May, Thomas told Legal Week that the firm was considering further US expansion, with a west coast office identified as a priority.