Kennedys hires Clyde & Co team for Perth launch

New Perth office will be led by insurance partner Jonathan Wyatt

UK headquartered firm Kennedys has hired a team of insurance lawyers from Clyde & Co to help launch its first office in Western Australia.

The new Perth office is the firm’s third in the country, adding to its existing presence in Sydney and Melbourne. The office will be led by partner Jonathan Wyatt and a team of nine, all joining from Clyde & Co in Perth. They include special counsel Paul Graham and Alen Sinanovic and senior associate Rosie Blakey-Scholes, alongside a team of associates, paralegals and a secretary.

Matt Andrews, Kennedys’ Australian managing partner, said: “Kennedys is committed to providing the best on-the-ground capability wherever our clients need it. The appointment of a partner of Jonathan’s calibre and his team makes good on that promise and will ensure that our clients have seamless access to Kennedys’ expertise.”

Wyatt spent four years at Clyde & Co, having joined from insurance specialists Jarman McKenna. He also previously had stints as a partner at Sparke Helmore (prior to its merger with Jarman McKenna) and DLA Philips Fox, as well as an earlier spell with Clyde & Co in Hong Kong. Wyatt’s practice focuses on professional indemnity insurance, D&O liability, public liability, property insurance and marine law.

He said: “The global reach of the firm and the alignment of its goals to my areas of practice – marine, liability and property – make it an ideal fit. We relish the opportunity to establish a leading insurance practice with Kennedys in Perth.”

Kennedys said it is ramping up its insurance coverage at a critical time for the local economy as the country emerges from the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nick Thomas, senior partner at Kennedys, said: “We’re progressing our global strategy of growing our international capabilities based on client need. Opening a new office in Perth is another exciting milestone in Australia, with the Asia Pacific region being an important focus for us.”

The firm’s Australian expansion has seen it grow national headcount by more than 20% over the past year, including two new partners and 10 special counsel and senior associate appointments. Kennedys first opened in Australia in 2006 with its Sydney office, before expanding into Melbourne in 2017. The firm also signed up four-partner Tel Aviv boutique Zelichov Ben-Dan & Co last October, making it one of the first international firms to offer local law advice in Israel.

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