Kennedys appoints global HR director to drive transformation plans

We have appointed a new HR director to drive forward our transformation plans and ensure that we continue to attract the industry’s top talent.

Alan Demirkaya will lead a team spanning the UK, Europe, Middle East, the Americas and Asia Pacific, reporting to global managing partner, Suzanne Liversidge.

He replaces Caroline Wilson who has retired after more than 10 years heading up HR for Kennedys, during which time she saw the firm grow from 300 to more than 2,400 people.

Alan was formerly global head of HR for real estate and corporate transactions at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where he has worked since 2014.

As global HR director for Kennedys, he will be responsible for devising its people strategy and advising on all aspects of the people agenda including policies, benefits, recruitment, learning and development, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and corporate social responsibility.

A key project will be supporting the delivery of Kennedys’ ‘WorkWise’ global transformation programme which has seen continued investment across the firm’s offices to upgrade the working environments of its people including the London team’s move into the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building later this year.

Alan has gained extensive experience in previous roles, including within HR for Royal Bank of Scotland. As well as managing change programmes and merger integrations, he has partnered with senior leaders to draw up people strategies such as talent management and succession planning programmes, performance management frameworks, and compensation and benefits schemes.

He has also led on the development of culture initiatives and diversity and inclusion programmes and will oversee all D&I work carried out by his Kennedys colleagues.

Our people are at the heart of everything we do – without them we wouldn’t be able to support our clients in the way we do. Wherever they are in the world, it’s crucial to us that colleagues feel happy and supported, and part of the Kennedys team.

Suzanne Liversidge, global managing partner

Suzanne Liversidge, global managing partner, said: “Our people are at the heart of everything we do – without them we wouldn’t be able to support our clients in the way we do. Wherever they are in the world, it’s crucial to us that colleagues feel happy and supported, and part of the Kennedys team.

“Caroline leaves an amazing legacy and I want to take this opportunity to recognise that and wish her a wonderful retirement.

“At the same time, we welcome Alan who I look forward to working closely with as we continue to build on that and the reputation for excellence that has enabled us to attract some of the brightest legal minds in the field today.”

Alan, who has also travelled extensively with his work including stints in India, New York and Hong Kong, added: “I’m delighted to join a firm with such a strong focus on the people agenda, particularly after the last couple of years which have seen significant change in terms of what people want from their employers.

“Kennedys has also continued to grow throughout the pandemic, which is a clear and positive sign that the culture is where it needs to be, enabling them to deliver the best for their clients.”

Earlier this year, we announced a major move into London’s iconic ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building, part of the ‘Workwise’ global transformation programme.

The firm has just announced it has promoted its largest ever number of lawyers to partner. With 22 new partners joining the partnership, across Australia, EMEA, North America and the UK, we have more than doubled the number promoted last year and this takes our total worldwide partner count to 293.

Alan Demirkaya Global HR Director Kennedys (1)
Alan Demirkaya joins Kennedys as global HR director.