Exclusive: Mayer Brown insurance duo exit for Kennedys

Mayer Brown London insurance partners Ingrid Hobbs and Andy Westlake are set to join Kennedys, The Lawyer can reveal.

These exits follow that of Mayer Brown insurance head David Chadwick, who is also set to join Kennedys alongside partner Andrew McGahey, as reported by The Lawyer last month.

These hires, which are expected to start at their new firm in 2018, bring Kennedy’s laterals in 2017 up to a total of 33. All will be based in London except for McGahey, who will relocate to the firm’s Dublin office.

Hobbs joined Mayer Brown in 1997 and was made up to partner in 2002, alongside the newly appointed London head of insurance Will Glassey.

Her experience includes advising on policy coverage disputes, including those involving product liability and recall insurance, cyber liability coverage, professional indemnity risks, financial institutions, technology companies, media and publishing houses and directors and officers insurance.

Westlake joined Mayer Brown in 2006 from Herbert Smith Freehills, where he was a senior associate. He was made up to partner in January 2010.

Westlake’s practice includes advising on both High Court litigation in London and international arbitration under the rules of the LCIA and ICC.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: “Their appointments significantly complement our domestic and global insurance practice and London market capabilities – which were augmented with recent hires in Bermuda, Chicago and New York – and also reinforce our appetite for attracting top talent.

“It’s been another very positive year of growth for Kennedys and I am looking forward to being able to announce further developments in 2018.”

In 2017 the firm’s hires included a total of nine partners in New York, Chicago and Bermuda from Sedgwick, two in Bangkok from DLA Piper and four in Sheffield and Manchester from Hill Dickinson.

Mayer Brown London senior partner Sally Davies said: “Ingrid Hobbs and Andrew Westlake will be joining Kennedys and we wish them well.  The insurance practice remains a core component of our client offering, both in London and globally. In addition we were delighted to announce the recent appointment of Will Glassey as head of insurance in London.”

Mayer Brown has suffered a spate of exits in London over the past few months: Gibson Dunn hired City head of tax Sandy Bhogal and global corporate and securities co-head Jeremy Kenly, while Mishcon de Reya hired regulatory partner Guy Wilkes and Mark Compton left for an in-house role.

They come after Mayer Brown decided to re-gear its strategy away from mid-tier work to focus on winning top-tier mandates from insurers and other key clients.

The firm’s most recent high-profile hire in London is Reed Smith partner and private equity head Perry Yam, who joined to spearhead the firm’s private equity efforts in Europe.