Kennedys secures triple New York partner hire from struggling US firm Sedgwick

Insurance-focused UK law firm Kennedys has boosted its New York office with the hire of three partners from struggling US firm Sedgwick, including the firm’s New York managing partner John Blancett.

Blancett, who was formerly Sedgwick’s insurance head, focuses on advising insurers on litigation, mediations and investigations.

The other partners joining Kennedys are insurance disputes partner Christopher Novak and insurance partner Matthew Ferguson. They will be joined at the UK firm by three associates.

Kennedys entered the US in June via a merger with 100-lawyer insurance firm Carroll McNulty & Kull, which has bases in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Texas. The merged firm is known as Kennedys CMK in the US.

Kennedys’ senior partner Nick Thomas said: “John and his team’s arrival is a significant move for our financial institutions practice, and will raise our US profile quite considerably. In addition to complementing our US offering, the team will significantly strengthen our London market capabilities, which is crucial for international financial institutions matters.”

The Sedgwick partner trio are the latest to leave the San Francisco-headquartered firm, which has lost more than 30 partners this year according to Legal Week sibling title The American Lawyer.

Last month, 12 lawyers, including four partners, moved to Robinson & Cole in New York and Miami.

The firm has also closed offices in Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Houston, Texas in recent months.

On 1 September, Kennedys sealed a merger with Manchester firm Berg, which has 50 staff, including eight partners.

The firm’s revenue grew from £138.8m to £149.9m in 2016-17, however its average profit per equity partner (PEP) fell 8.7% from £458,000 to £418,000. Its lockstep ranges from £660,000 at the top, down to £192,500.