Kennedys opens 10th US office in Fort Lauderdale

Insurance specialist launches second Florida base to service yacht and marine clients as US expansion continues apace

Kristen Perkins Image courtesy of Kennedys

Kennedys has opened in Fort Lauderdale, its 10th US office, as the UK-headquartered insurance specialist continues its stateside expansion at a clip.  

The new office will initially house four insurance coverage lawyers who will relocate from Kennedys’ Latin America hub in Miami to be closer to clients, particularly their yacht and marine clients, in the region. The team will be led by partner Kristen Perkins, who specialises in complex insurance disputes for global and US-based carriers including primary and excess liability, D&O, employment and property.  

The move continues a period of rapid expansion at Kennedys, which kickstarted its US growth in 2017 through a merger with 100-lawyer insurance firm Carroll McNulty and Kull, a move that handed it five offices across the US. Since 2020 the firm has also hired partners from national and local rivals to open in San Francisco, Houston and Wilmington, Delaware as well as Fort Lauderdale, adding to its original US base in Miami.  

“In the last two years alone, we have increased our headcount by 13% and now have close to 200 attorneys servicing clients across the US,” said Kennedys US managing partner, Meg Catalano.  

“Kennedys has been on an incredible journey, and I am excited to announce this next new chapter of growth, which is testament to both our loyal clients and our colleagues whose hard work underpins our success.” 

Perkins will be joined in Fort Lauderdale by associates Nicole Castano and Jordan Lewis, who bring experience litigating insurance issues, including personal injury and medical malpractice claims, employment and commercial litigation disputes, in state and federal courts.  

The team is rounded out by special counsel Samantha Satish, who handles a variety of coverage issues such as those arising under commercial, residential and automobile insurance policies. 

Kennedys grew revenue 11% in FY23 to a record high of £313m. The firm noted that the expansion of its US footprint had been a key driver in making North American and Bermuda the region with the largest rise in revenue, with 24%, compared to 6% in the UK, 9% in EMEA and 12% in APAC. 

Kennedys has also been busily expanding elsewhere, adding a 12-strong insurance team in Sydney from Clyde & Co in December. A few months earlier it had hired nine liability lawyers across the UK from defunct defendant insurance firm Plexus Law, including in Newcastle, where the firm opened last May after hiring a specialist liability team from DAC Beachcroft. 

Going the other way, the firm closed its office in Bangkok in late 2022 following a review into its Thailand business, leaving it with two Southeast Asia offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.  

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