Kennedys forges links to fuel expansion in Latin America

Kennedys is to grow its South American practice through an alliance with Brazilian firm Torres ­Marcellino & Associados (TM Law).

The firm has also ­expanded its network of associated offices to include Chilean firm Acuña & Cia and Mexico’s Solis Marin.

These are the latest expansionist moves by Kennedys, which opened a Miami base in October 2010 to target insurance
work coming out of the South American insurance ­market.

Specialist insurance and reinsurance firm TM Law is home to partner Fabio ­Torres, who before launching the firm in 1999 headed the legal department of ­former Brazilian monopoly reinsurer IRB.

Kennedys has an ­established strategy to open in markets that are core to its insurance client base.

Senior partner Nick Thomas said: “Brazil’s ­developed a sophisticated insurance and reinsurance market and is increasingly important as an ­inter-national financial and ­corporate powerhouse.

“Brazil already represents some 50 per cent of the region’s direct ­insurance premium and many reinsurers, including Lloyd’s of London, have been opening offices in this increasingly important jurisdiction.”

Torres commented: “This tie-up gives us all the ­benefits of a boutique firm with an international dimension.”

The firm is prohibited from acquiring TM Law by Brazilian bar rules.

Meanwhile, last week Kennedys officially merged with its Ireland associate firm O’Hare O’Connor Walshe (TheLawyer.com, 1 June).

The Irish deal is ­typical of the firm’s strategy, as demonstrated by its ­formal tie-up with Almeida & Athayde to launch Kennedys Portugal in March.