Cozens beefs up City insurance capability

Philadelphia firm Cozen and O’Connor is hiring its first two UK-qualified insurance partners to boost its fledgling London office.

Hermes Marangos is joining from niche City shipping and insurance firm Elborne Mitchell, where he was a partner advising insurance and reinsurance clients in international arbitration and litigation.

Matthew Cordeux is arriving as a junior partner from Clyde & Co, where he was a senior assistant. Cordeux also handles a variety of insurance and reinsurance work as well as general commercial disputes.

The two are joining the firm’s London managing partner David Strawbridge and US-qualified insurance partner Peter Papasavas in the London insurance practice.

Strawbridge says: “We believe that building an insurance/reinsurance team in London complements our North American-based work as well as the increasing number of cross-border disputes that we are becoming involved in.”

Cozens’ London office opened in February last year, originally in association with City firm Radcliffes, although that relationship has now dwindled. Clients in London include Lloyd’s syndicates such as Brockbank, Hiscox and DJ Newman, and the practice does recovery cases for Royal & SunAlliance.

In the US the firm has more than 400 lawyers throughout its 15 offices. Clients are major US insurers such as AIG, Chubb Insurance and St Pauls.

Strawbridge says Marangos in particular will add a significant client base, although he refuses to give names. “We’re looking in particular to Hermes Marangos, because he has good relationships with some clients who are doing a lot of work in South America,” he says. “He does work for lots of Lloyd’s syndicates in Latin America and has very strong connections there.”