UK law firm Kennedys is expanding its Australian operations opening an office in Melbourne which will be run by the head of Casualty at Melbourne firm Lander & Rogers. Michael Kavanagh joins the firm with a three strong team from Lander. The Melbourne office will complement Kennedys’ Sydney office which opened in 2006. The firm is currently operating a national practice from Sydney, including acting for several key clients in Melbourne.
The new office strengthens the firm's efforts to support clients that run claims and claims teams in multiple jurisdictions. Matt Andrews, managing partner of Kennedys Australia, said: 'A number of our significant local and global clients are in Melbourne and we are very excited about working more closely with them. The addition of a local team will give clients access to a broader range of skills and additional resources particularly in high growth areas like casualty, liability, cyber and insurtech.' Mr Kavanagh, who becomes the global firm’s eighth lateral partner hire this year, spent the previous 16 years at Lander & Rogers where he led their Casualty team.
He will be joined in Melbourne by special counsel Nicholas Blackmore, who will transfer from Kennedys’ Hong Kong office. Mr Blackmore, who qualified in Australia in 2000, advises on information technology, commercial and regulatory matters for insurers and large corporates, including in the manufacturing and logistics, and media and communications sectors. His expertise includes insurtech, cyber risk and data protection and regulatory advice. Two senior associates, Emily Unger and Uki Murphy, and lawyer Angela Woodward – also join from Lander & Rogers with general insurance and personal injury experience.
The Melbourne office will become the seventh office to be added to the firm’s global network this year following the addition of five US offices as part of the merger with US firm Carroll McNulty & Kull in May, and an office opening in Mexico City in January. Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys, said: 'This latest office opening reinforces our commitment to the Australian market by expanding our capacity to service national clients, and by recruiting talented and experienced insurance specialists who have the industry expertise that our clients demand. The expansion of the Australian practice aligns with the firm’s global strategy to be the go-to firm for the insurance sector and to provide the best on the ground capability where our clients need it.' In the first half of this year, Kennedys followed a formal association in Italy with an office opening in Mexico. It most recently completed a merger with US firm Carroll, McNulty & Kull and announced another merger with UK commercial litigation specialists Berg.