Kennedys to launch in Bermuda with Sedgwick office as global expansion continues

Kennedys has continued its global expansion through the addition of Bermuda-based Sedgwick Chudleigh to its global network.

The insurance-focused firm, which was previously associated with US law firm Sedgwick, will operate independently as Kennedys Chudleigh. The opening makes Kennedys the first “onshore” global firm to establish a presence in Bermuda.

Kennedys has hired six partners from struggling US firm Sedgwick in recent months, including the firm’s New York managing partner John Blancett.

Former Sedgwick managing partner Mark Chudleigh will continue to lead the Bermuda office. Chudleigh has a focus on dispute resolution, with a strong emphasis on insurance matters. He will be joined by insurance partner Alex Potts and Nick Miles.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: “This arrangement provides us with the opportunity to service clients in Bermuda, the United States and the UK, as well as our numerous other locations globally. It significantly augments our global insurance practice and puts us in a class of one among insurance law firms.”

Chudleigh added: “The global reach of Kennedys is unsurpassed for an insurance and litigation firm and the available expertise and resources over the Kennedys network places us in a unique position in Bermuda, as we continue to service our valued clients.

“Our New York, Chicago and London lawyers have worked with Mark and his team and, together, we all represent some of the world’s largest insurers.”

Kennedys launched in the US this year through a merger with US insurance firm Carroll McNulty & Kull.

It has also opened offices in Paris, Bangkok, Melbourne and Mexico City this year.

On Friday (20 October), Legal Week revealed that the firm had made a double partner hire from Mayer Brown in London, including the US firm’s London head of insurance David Chadwick.

Kennedys merged with Manchester firm Berg this year, following unsuccessful merger talks with UK insurance firm Plexus.

Last year, Kennedys merged with London marine and shipping boutique Waltons & Morse, adding about £6m to the insurance firms’ top line and five partners.

In 2016-17 the firm’s revenue was £149.9m, an 8% increase on the previous year.

Sedgwick has lost more than 30 partners in the last year and has closed offices in Washington DC; Austin, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Houston.