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Financials 2016/17: Kennedys posts 8% growth as expansive insurance player builds Euro business

With a core base of demanding clients facing an uncertain future, insurance specialist Kennedys will be relieved to have posted 8% revenue growth for the 2016/17 period, up from £138.8m to £149.9m.

The top 30 UK law firm highlighted European growth as a key contributor to the performance. Kennedys’ continental network saw combined turnover more than double from £6.5m to £14.2m. The expansive firm’s Dublin branch increased income 41% from £3.5m to £4.9m as the firm increased investment in the Irish capital by more than doubling its office space last year.

Kennedys also pointed to growth in a number of international offices across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The firm carried out extensive international expansion last year, particularly in Latin America, opening offices in Chile and Columbia, as well as launching greenfield operations in Brazil and Peru.

The results come as Kennedys earlier this month announced a tie-up with US insurance specialist Carroll McNulty & Kull (CMK), handing the London-based firm five branches across the US. The practice will be marketed as Kennedys CMK in the US. Kennedys also recently boosted its marine and shipping departments through a City merger with Waltons & Morse, adding a 28-strong legal team and five partners.

Additionally, the firm, which has yet to finalise its net income and partner profits, announced that debt had decreased to 14% of turnover, while headcount had increased by 10% worldwide.

Senior partner Nick Thomas (pictured) commented. ‘We have seen strong European financial growth this year as new office openings have matured, and we expect to see this replicated in other markets over the next year as office openings in those locations develop.’

The results come as a range of UK practices have this year unveiled wildly diverging financial performances for the 2016/17 trading period, with the legal market being hit on one hand by last year’s EU referendum, while sterling-based results have been flattered by the recent strength of the euro. Kennedys’ core base of insurance clients are expected to be among the most heavily-impacted industries when the UK leaves the EU.