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Chicago firepower for RPC as insurance team secures formal US tie-up

RPC has announced its insurance practice will form an official alliance with Chicago-based law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson.

The partnership will see both firms deepen their existing relationship in the insurance sector, with talks regarding a formal alliance developing throughout January. The firms will now work together on pitching and client marketing as well as collaborating on professional indemnity mandates.

RPC insurance head, Simon Laird, told Legal Business: ‘This is very much an insurance sector play. Our clients have a big US dynamic and it’s somewhere we wanted to be more strategic. This is coming off the back of extensive client feedback and we chose Hinshaw because of the quality of conversation we had with them.’

Hinshaw & Culbertson is a national firm with 21 offices across the US, including New York, Massachusetts, Florida and California. Like RPC, the firm has a strong insurance offering and provides the UK firm with an entry point into the more mature market in the US. The American outfit appointed a new chairman last week, with Peter Sullivan taking the helm.

‘We have been working together for a while with discussions taking place over the last 12 to 18 months,’ Laird continued. ‘This is not an exclusive thing – there was not a day where we decided to stop and do something differently – things have just progressed and will continue to progress moving forward.’

The alliance makes RPC the latest insurance-focused firm to develop its US presence over the last two years, with Clyde &Co, HFW and Kennedys all having made moves. Taylor Wessing, meanwhile, entered an alliance with West Coast leader Wilson Sonsini last week with a tech-focused relationship.

The announcement follows RPC’s financial rebound last year, when profits increased 10% to hit £112.7m while net income rose to £28.9m, an improvement on the firm’s disappointing 2016/17.