Kennedys hires US-qualified lawyers in Miami

Kennedys will be able to practice US law for the first time after making two hires to its Miami office.

The firm has hired Gray Robinson partner Neil Bayer and Zurich head of technical claim excellence Dan Sanders.

Kennedys’ Miami hub has until now focused on supporting Latin American, Caribbean and London market insurers and reinsurers. The hires will allow Kennedys to practice in these markets in North America.

The Miami office opened in 2010 after partner Alex Guillamont relocated there from Madrid to become the firm’s head of Latin America.

Florida-qualified Bayer joined Kennedys in October from US firm Gray Robinson, where he was an insurance lawyer. Bayer has experience dealing with aviation and fine art cases but specialises in maritime litigation work. He works with insurance underwriters and private clients on issues relating to yachts and super yachts.

Sanders is qualified to practice law in Florida and Pennsylvania and joins from insurance giant Zurich.

Kennedys has also joined forces with Argentinian firm Alberto Bunge & Asociados (ABA) through a formal association, which is the firm’s fifth association in Latin America.

Boutique firm ABA specialises in complex insurance and reinsurance matters and has worked with Kennedys since 2013. Founding partner Alberto José Bunge runs the office and is supported by Virginia Couto and Marina Klein.

Guillamont said: “Argentina continues to be the third major economy of Latin America behind Brazil and Mexico in terms of GDP and insurance/reinsurance premium. Many of our global insurance clients have exposures and offices in Argentina so a formal association was the logical next step for us.

“The ability to now advise on US law is a very positive development for the firm and its client base. We have had a number of Latin American instructions over the years with a US angle, that we will now be able to service internally with Neil, Dan, and their team.”

Kennedys’ other alliances are in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

DAC Beachcroft recently opened an office in Miami to complement its existing offices across Latin America. Current managing partner David Pollitt described the launch as the “final piece of the jigsaw” as Miami has seen an increasing amount of insurance work in recent years.