UK arms of rival US class action firms unveil merger

Keller Postman UK joins forces with Lanier Longstaff Hedar & Roberts to form litigation funder-owned KP Law

Andrew Nugent Smith

The UK arms of two prominent US class action law firms – Keller Postman UK and Lanier Longstaff Hedar & Roberts – have merged to form a new outfit, KP Law, which is owned by litigation funder Asertis.

The deal sees four partners from Keller Postman UK, led by Andrew Nugent Smith, join forces with Lanier Longstaff’s founding partners, barristers Tom Longstaff and Duncan Hedar, who will head up the new firm’s product liability and competition law teams.

While KP Law has cut its ties with Keller Postman in the US, it will maintain links with Lanier Longstaff’s sister US firm, The Lanier Law Firm, handling its cases in the UK and Europe.

KP Law said the merger would bring under one roof the expertise and resources needed to address complex legal challenges in the UK and Europe, continuing the work initiated by both firms.

It cited previous wins by Keller Postman, including claims against Volkswagen for diesel emissions, securing workers’ rights against Uber, and addressing data breaches involving British Airways, Ticketmaster and Equifax. 

The new firm will also continue a claim against talcum powder manufacturers, previously spearheaded by Lanier Longstaff Hedar & Roberts, saying it would adopt “a robust approach to addressing the pressing issues consumers face on a grand scale”.

Nugent Smith, a former Gowling WLG partner, said: “This merger adds new product liability and competition law expertise to our existing workers’ rights, data breach and privacy, financial products and investment fraud and mis-selling practices.”

He added that, in Longstaff and Hedar, the firm had gained “two stellar collective redress lawyers” while it was “incredibly excited by the opportunity to collaborate with The Lanier Law Firm in the US”.

Renowned trial lawyer Mark Lanier, who founded his Texas-based firm in 1990, said: “This merger represents an extremely important and significant collaboration for the Lanier Law Firm as we continue to be strategic in developing relationships with firms internationally.”

Longstaff and Hedar, former barristers at Manchester’s Exchange Chambers, founded Lanier Longstaff Hedar & Roberts LLP in October 2022 with Lanier and his US COO, Kevin Roberts.

The deal comes after a significant period of change for Keller Postman UK. Last summer its US founders, Keller Postman’s CEO, Adam Gerchen, along with Warren Postman and Ashley Keller, relinquished control of the UK limited company, according to filings at Companies House. And In September CEO Matthew Cutlan left the firm, which has offices in London, Liverpool and Birmingham. 

Asertis acquired the entire issued share capital of Keller Postman UK Limited on 1 January this year after refinancing its debt in June 2023. It changed its name to KP Law on 4 March.

The firm’s most recent accounts, as of 31 December 2023, showed current assets of approximately £7.9m and net current liabilities of £37m, an increase of around £9.6m from 2021. 

It is a founder member of the Collective Redress Lawyers Association, which yesterday reacted positively to news of forthcoming legislation to smooth regulatory issues affecting litigation funders following a recent UK Supreme Court judgment.  

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