Kennedys has taken a six-strong team from US firm Sedgwick led by the firm’s New York managing partner John Blancett.
Partners Christopher Novak and Matthew Ferguson are joining Blancett in the move, alongside three associates. All three partners will move into the firm’s core insurance practice and take the number of New York-based partners to 16.
Blancett leaves Sedgwick just nine months after being named as managing partner for the firm’s New York office, at the same time as James Holmes took the same role in Los Angeles.
The hires come shortly after Kennedys merged with another US firm, Carroll McNulty & Kull, to create Kennedys CMK in May giving the firm an extra 100 lawyers in the US. The merger also brought offices in Pennsylvania, Texas and Illinois as well as the New York office which the six have joined.
The Lawyer reported that Kennedys was eager to grow it presence in America in late 2016 when the firm was understood to be looking for more offices in the United States and Latin America.
The Carroll McNulty & Kull merger brought the US strength while the firm also opened in Mexico City earlier this year.
Kennedys CMK senior partner Chris Carroll said: “John works with key insurers that Kennedys knows well and represents in other parts of the world. His client connections in the US and London domestic markets run very deep, and we know and respect John and his excellent team, so his appointment is a wonderful fit.”
The firm has had a presence in the United States since 2010 when it launched in Miami although that office works primarily on the Latin American insurance market.
Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas, who was elected to a new five-year term in January, said: “John and his team’s arrival is a significant move for our financial institutions practice, and will raise our US profile quite considerably. In addition to complementing our US offering, the team will significantly strengthen our London Market capabilities, which is crucial for international financial institutions matters.”
The firm’s global turnover grew by 8 per cent in the 2016/17 financial year although continued investment in lateral hires, new offices and IT improvements had caused debt to rise to £20.3m.