Kennedys rising star wins ‘Young Professional of the Year’ at prestigious insurance industry awards

We're celebrating the achievements of one of our rising stars.

Liam Bedford, a practising barrister and senior associate in our Leeds office, has been named “Young Professional of the Year” at a prestigious industry awards.

Back after a brief hiatus due to last year’s lockdown, the Insurance and Reinsurance Association Awards recognise those who provide exceptional service to the sector.

Liam, whose nomination was submitted by colleagues along with references from two major insurer clients, said he was “thrilled” to win and thanked those who had put him forward.

“Just to have been nominated is a real compliment so I’m absolutely thrilled to win, particularly when the competition was so fierce,” he said.


It’s a great feeling to know that my efforts have been recognised and I’m delighted to be taking the award back to Kennedys.

Liam Bedford, Senior Associate

"Although I’ve only been with the firm a short time, I’m grateful to be part of such a successful and well-respected organisation and I look forward to continuing to provide the first-class service that the firm’s reputation is built on.”

The University of Leeds and BPP Law School graduate, who achieved “recommended lawyer” status in The Legal 500 in 2020, joined Kennedys in March from BC Legal and primarily deals with asbestos-related claims in the High Court.

He specialises in acting for local authorities on strategic points such as foreseeability of risk to firemen and in respect of emerging diseases, but also has experience in a wide range of conditions including asthma, dermatitis, silicosis, hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

Presenting the award at a gala dinner, part of the IRLA Congress in Brighton, earlier this month, membership director Jenny Fair told an audience of 280 attendees: “IRLA is pleased to see so many up and coming young professionals in this year’s competition and Liam was a very worthy winner.”

Kennedys partner, David Thompson, who works alongside Liam in Leeds, added: “We are tremendously proud of Liam, both for the work he has done for our clients and for IRLA, in what has been a tremendously challenging year.

“IRLA has continued to represent the legacy market during these difficult circumstances, and we are pleased how Liam has been able to work in conjunction with IRLA to assist their members.”

Liam, who beat four of his peers to the coveted award, was presented alongside IRLA stalwart Leslie-Ann Giovnilli who was recognised with the “Services to Legacy” award after 46 years in the market. 

The gala dinner also raised more than £4,400 for the IRLA’s chosen charity, the LiGHT Trial into glaucoma research at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The award is the latest industry accolade for Kennedys’ rising stars after Tegan Johnson, a solicitor apprentice in Sheffield, was named one of educational provider BPP’s apprentices of the year.  

Liam is based in our Leeds office which opened at the start of the year – our 12th in the UK and 42nd globally.