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Kennedys ramps up expansion at home and abroad with double hire from Mayer Brown and launch of Bermuda office

Top-50 insurance specialist Kennedys has continued its rapid expansion both in London and further afield with a double hire from Mayer Brown in the City and the launch of a Bermuda office – the firm’s tenth office launch this year – with local law firm Sedgwick Chudleigh joining the firm’s global network.

In London, Kennedys has hired Mayer Brown’s London insurance and reinsurance head David Chadwick as well as partner Andrew McGahey, who will join the firm’s Dublin office.

Chadwick, who joined Mayer Brown in 1998, handles the full range of contentious insurance matters, including political risk disputes and disputes involving other significant financial insurance issues. Meanwhile, McGahey has extensive experience advising insurers on claims under warranty and indemnity and is cited as a ‘key member’ of Mayer Brown’s corporate insurance team.

The double hire comes as Kennedys becomes the first onshore global law firm to launch in Bermuda, taking more partners from US firm Sedgewick. The office will continue to be led by dispute resolution specialist Mark Chudleigh and follows the move of six former Sedgwick partners to Kennedys New York and Chicago offices since September. Chudleigh will be joined by Sedgewick partners Nick Miles and Alex Potts.

Kennedys claims the move is a major development for its global expansion as it ‘establishes a local presence in one of the world’s most important insurance markets and a leading financial centre’. Given Kennedys clear practice focus, the move to the Caribbean island makes sense as Bermuda remains one of the top reinsurance centres in the world and a leading market for insurance-linked securities products.

A firm statement continues: ‘The development places us in the unique position of being able to offer clients access to some of the world’s leading insurance specialists and litigators in London, New York and Bermuda as well as other important insurance hubs such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Miami and Singapore.’

The move to launch in Bermuda is the next stage of Kennedys breakneck expansion globally. Just earlier this month, the firm announced the opening of new offices in Paris and Bangkok. Kennedys has tapped into a major south-east Asian market through its Thailand launch, building on its pre-established presence in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The firm has also opened in the US through its merger with insurance firm Carroll McNulty & Kull and added offices in Australia, Mexico as well as a formal association in Italy.