Kennedys formalises Chilean tie-up

Insurance firm Kennedys has formalised its relationship with Chilean firm Acuna & Cia, as part of a push to strengthen its presence in South America.

The two firms share US insurance giant AIG as a major client and have been working together for around 10 years.

Alex Guillamont, partner in Kennedys’ Madrid office, said: “Alejandro Acuna is the man AIG trusts in Latin America. Many of the company’s losses are reinsured in London.

“Usually the problem English law firms face in Latin America is that they give out lots of work but don’t get anything back in a relationship,” Guillamont said. “But Acuna has the right contacts and gets Kennedys involved.”

Last year Kennedys established a Madrid office to build up relationships with Latin American firms.

Kennedys’ senior partner Nick Thomas said: “We used the opening of our Madrid office in 2005 as a springboard to actively seek work in Latin America and Acuna & Cia has helped us become involved in several large matters.”

Kennedys works with law firms in Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Mexico, as well as other Latin American jurisdictions. Relationships have developed as many large insurers reinsure their Latin American losses in London.

Kennedys and Acuna are financially independent but marketed as integrated offices.

Although there are no plans yet for a merger with Acuna & Cia, Kennedys’ merger with Madrid firm Araúz de Robles & Vélez began with a similar formal relationship.