Kennedys strengthens global insurance capabilities with addition of motor team in Singapore

We are pleased to announced that a team of motor and general insurance lawyers from Withers KhattarWong in Singapore have joined us, making us one of the largest local providers of volume defence work and one of the largest motor insurance teams at any law firm in the country.

Patrick Yeo and fellow partner Hui Ying Lim were both in the insurance practice at Withers KhattarWong, and have joined us as partners. They are supported by their team which includes an associate, Joyce Ooi, a paralegal, Azizah Roslan, and support staff.

Admitted to the Singapore Bar in 1996, Patrick immediately joined KhattarWong LLP where he became a salaried partner in 2003 and equity partner in 2006. Following the firm’s merger to become Withers KhattarWong in 2015, he became a senior equity partner with the firm.

Hui Ying joined KhattarWong after being admitted to the Singapore Bar in 2004. She became a salaried partner in 2010 and, following the firm’s merger in 2015, she became a junior equity partner in 2016. She has over a decade of experience representing insurers, predominantly handling motor, public liability and professional liability claims. She also advised the General Insurance Association on the Insurance Amendment Bill, which came into force on 1 September 2009, and she also advises and acts for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Singapore.

The team’s work is largely focused on motor insurance matters, covering contentious litigation and alternative dispute resolution at all levels of the Singapore courts. Its clients are both domestic and international, and the lawyers currently handle one of the largest portfolios of motor insurance defence work in Singapore - acting for the largest domestic and global insurers.

Patrick, Hui Ying and their team bring considerable motor experience that will enhance our capabilities in Singapore and are a welcome addition to our global team

Patrick and his team specialise in combatting fraudulent injury claims stemming from low-speed vehicle collisions as well, along with issues of constructive total loss, vehicular collision damage claims for plant and machinery, and dispute work for suspected drink-driving cases. They also specialise in policy coverage and disputes and regularly advise and act for insurers for both contentious and non-contentious policy issues or disputes.

The team also handles general insurance matters or claims relating to industrial accident and work injury claims, fire/water damage defence, public liability, occupiers liability, professional liability, and/or subrogation claims.

Their arrival builds upon our capabilities that were significantly strengthened in late 2018 with the appointment of Akram Khaira and his team. Akram joined us from Kelvin Chia Partnership, where he headed the insurance litigation department. With a key service offering in motor claims, and substantial experience, Akram has acted for domestic and global insurers for over 20 years and specialises in personal injury, property damage or loss and professional indemnity claims.

In Singapore, we operate as Kennedys Legal Solutions following the 2015 joint law venture agreement between Kennedys Singapore LLP and Singapore law firm Legal Solutions LLC. The joint legal venture provides us with the ability to litigate in the courts of Singapore.

Our Singapore office opened in 2008 and handles matters across multiple practice areas, with a specific focus on the insurance and reinsurance sector.

Nick Thomas, senior partner at Kennedys, says: “We will continue our strategy of making hires in areas that will benefit our clients. Patrick, Hui Ying and their team bring considerable motor experience that will enhance our capabilities in Singapore and are a welcome addition to our global team.”

Julian Wallace, joint managing partner of Kennedys’ Singapore office, says: “Patrick, Hui Ying, Joyce and Azizah bring many years of combined experience to our Singapore office and further enhance our capabilities in Singapore following the arrival of Akram and his team in December 2018. We are proud to be able to offer a full service to the insurance industry.”

Patrick Yeo says: “Joining Kennedys is an exciting prospect for me and my team. They are fast becoming the pre-eminent global insurance law firm and their global network provides us with an excellent platform for growth. In particular, our combined experience will enable us to grow the Singapore office into one of the largest local volume defence litigation service providers in the motor and general insurance sector.”

The arrival of Patrick, Hui Ying and their team takes the headcount in our Singapore office up to 79, including 14 partners and 34 fee earners.

In August, we announced the appointment of Suzanne Liversidge as our first ever global managing partner. The role will see Suzanne working alongside senior partner, Nick Thomas, on the strategic and operational management of our global network of 38 offices.

Our engagement in the motor insurance market saw us recently publish our second report on the topic of autonomous vehicles (AVs). This latest report is one of the largest on the topic and the first to explore public support for all autonomous vehicles; not just driverless vehicles. One of our findings, in a study across six territories, is that there is less public support for autonomous vehicles in Singapore – an extremely advanced jurisdiction on the topic of AVs - than there is in Hong Kong and China, but higher than in Australia, the UK and the US.