We have celebrated a year of exceptional growth in the Americas for the financial year 2018/19, following continued inward investment.
In the Americas, two years since we merged with Carroll McNulty & Kull (CMK), we have reported 16% growth which has been supported by a 12% increase in headcount across our offices in New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin and Miami. Globally, our total headcount exceeds 2,000 for the first time in our history with developments in the Americas playing a crucial part in reaching this number.
In those two years, we have significantly strengthened our US insurance practice and global expertise through a number of prominent lateral hires, including a six-lawyer team from Sedgwick’s led by John Blancett, Christopher Novak and Matthew Ferguson to our New York office. This was complemented with the arrival of Eric Scheiner, Dick Geddes and Jennifer Quinn Broda as partners in our Chicago office. Partner Mark Dessi joined in 2018 further strengthening our insurance coverage capabilities.
Our US offering was most recently complemented by the addition of Maurice Pesso and Greg Steinberg as partners to our New Jersey and New York offices, respectively, with the duo arriving from White and Williams LLP.
Complementing our expansion in the US, we established a local presence in one of the world’s most important (re)insurance hubs by opening an office in Bermuda, which specialises in insurance and commercial matters, with former local law firm Sedgwick Chudleigh Ltd.
We also continued to develop in Latin America and the Caribbean. A number of key developments in the region has seen turnover more than double.
Since January 2018, we have opened of an office in Buenos Aires and created formal associations with Colón & Colón in Puerto Rico, Alvarez & Alvarez in the Dominican Republic, Palomo & Porras in Guatemala and KBK Abogados in Panama.
By extending our footprint to ten territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, we now have the largest reach of any insurance law firm for the region – with all our offices and associations complementing our regional hub in Miami, which opened in 2010.
Meg Catalano, US Managing Partner at Kennedys, says: “What these statistics tell us is that we have made the right choices and that our 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, is working.
“It’s been two years since Carroll McNulty & Kull and Kennedys merged and, in that space of time, we have gone from strength to strength. What has been particularly pleasing is the positive reaction we have received from the market. Clients are excited by our global reach and we continue to make a difference to them by providing a global service and increased strength and depth.
“Post-merger we were known as Kennedys CMK domestically and it is now time for us to be known simply as Kennedys, in line with the rest of the world. Retaining the CMK was an important transition for us locally as Kennedys was not a familiar brand in the US at the time of the merger two years ago.
“It’s quite amazing to look back at the growth over the last two years with the increased size of our practice locally, the opening in Bermuda and the string of developments across South America. I look forward to continuing to be part of a successful strategy across the Americas and the rest of the world.”
Alex Guillamont, Head of Latin America & Caribbean Practice at Kennedys, adds: “Our rapid expansion across Latin America and the Caribbean is predicated on client demand, and this has been hugely complemented in the last two years by our increased presence and expertise across the Americas.
“Since we opened the Miami office for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2010 we have grown considerably in the region. As recently as last month we strengthened our practice in Chile with the arrival of a six-strong team, headed by Ricardo Peralta and José Antonio Gutierrez, who will complement our partners Mario Diemoz (advisory) Rado Depolo (corporate) and Gian Carlo Lorenzini (litigation) in Santiago.
“Our combination of local, regional and global knowledge and expertise is valued greatly by our clients, who continue to benefit from the combination of our global network and experience, and new and existing associations.”