Kennedys to merge with boutique shipping law firm

Kennedy’s are to merge with boutique marine and shipping law firm Waltons & Morse strengthen Kennedy’s existing capabilities and introducing new capabilities in marine and shipping work in London. The decision to merge was unanimously accepted by both partnerships.

Waltons & Morse’s Chris Dunn, will head up the new international marine team to be known as Kennedys Marine, and will join the firm’s Board. Kennedys Marine will comprise 30 experts across the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Australia and the Americas, including 12 partners.

Currently located in London on Gracechurch Street, just around the corner from our flagship Fenchurch Avenue office, all Waltons & Morse’s staff will move over to Fenchurch Avenue by the end of the year.

Waltons & Morse managing partner, Chris Dunn, said:- “I’ve known many of the partners at Kennedys for nearly 10 years. We work for a lot of the same Lloyd’s syndicates and insurers. This is a merger of two very like-minded business. Our partners are attracted to Kennedys’ approachable and inclusive culture and their reputation for quality work in the (re)insurance sector.

“A vast amount of our work involves clients and matters outside of the UK so the international infrastructure that Nick has created at Kennedys gives our talented team greater access to a well-established network of offices, along with an excellent foundation for further growth. We’re all looking forward to the continued development of our marine insurance and shipping practice.”

Kennedys senior partner, Nick Thomas, said:- “I’m thrilled to be able to announce a merger with an exceptional firm that shares the same sector focus as us. This merger is an excellent fit for us making an instant impact in marine insurance and shipping and allowing us to further our growth ambitions in areas where our clients need it. Marine insurance has been a strategic area of growth for Kennedys and so I am delighted to provide an exceptionally strong offering with Chris at the helm.

“This announcement is the latest landmark in a year of consistent growth for us, following five new office openings in Copenhagen, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia, and two associate offices in Norway and Sweden, as well as nine senior lateral hires so far this year. It also follows ex-Norton Rose marine and shipping Partner hire, David McKie, who joined us in 2013.”

Waltons & Morse has crafted a leading reputation in marine insurance, shipping and transport & logistics. They share a similar client base to Kennedys amongst London Market (re)insurers and throughout Europe, Asia and the USA with insurers, ship owners, charterers, commodity trading companies, haulier, forwarders and terminal operators.

The decision to merge was unanimously accepted by both partnerships.

The merger will take effect from 1 November 2016 creating a £150m turnover business.

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