Another strong year of growth for Kennedys as it pushes the innovation accelerator

We are pleased to report record turnover of £238m for the financial year 2019/20, a 9% increase on the previous 12 months as we continue to execute our growth strategy.

Europe and Latin America have performed particularly well, supported in part by continued UK growth following the arrival of a 12-strong team from Norton Rose Fulbright last summer and growth in Portugal by way of a merger. The addition of a motor and general liability team from Withers KhattarWong helped to create one of the largest liability insurance teams at any law firm in Singapore.

There was a 7% increase in headcount worldwide during the financial year, taking staff numbers to 2,150. In the last 12 months, Kennedys has made 20 lateral hires, strengthening its offering in Australia, Chile, Ireland, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, UAE, the US and the UK.

The year also marked significant investment in Kennedys’ innovation initiatives, with the launch of Kennedys IQ, a separate technology driven company whose purpose is to be “Kennedys, without the lawyers”, as well as partnering with University College London to develop an emerging risk analytical tool for insurers, aftersecuring funding from the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

During the year, Kennedys appointed Suzanne Liversidge as its first global managing partner and the first woman to hold such a role at a UK top 30 law firm. The firm also announced a new leadership team in Spain.

The year in numbers:

  • UK turnover was £139m, up 9.7%
  • The number of fee-earners globally rose 10%
  • Lockup was 128 days globally
  • Turnover by region
  • UK - £139m
  • Europe £13.7m
  • APAC £38.5m
  • North America and Bermuda £40.4m
  • Latin America £6.6m

Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys, says: “These are impressive results, the obvious difficulties of the last two months of our financial year notwithstanding. We have continued to grow in all our key markets. As we embark on the next financial year, we do so with a careful eye on the continuing impact of Covid-19 upon our clients, but with cautious optimism. We opened our new San Francisco office last week and we expect to welcome more joiners to that office and to announce further expansions within our network this year.

“Our global vision – to be the go-to firm for the insurance sector with on-the-ground capability where our clients need it – continues to attract both clients and new recruits, especially against the background of our commitment to help clients use lawyers less.

“The early days of Kennedys IQ are already delivering on the promise of technology to assist our global clients in the running of their businesses, turning to Kennedys’ lawyers only when expert legal advice is needed.

“These results are a testament to the way in which our people – supported by a robust global IT infrastructure, operating from one platform across the globe – have adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been a truly collaborative effort as staff have stayed safe while maintaining high levels of service. It is truly an honour to lead this firm.”