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‘Nothing is off the cards’: Kennedys launches in Scotland with plans to double headcount

Insurance firm Kennedys has finally entered the Scottish market with the launch of two new offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The firm officially opened its doors today (12 January), creating two new bases with the hire of partners from commercial litigation firm Francis Gill & Co and McClure Naismith.

The Edinburgh office will be the firm’s primary practice in the region while the site in Glasgow will be used to assist services. The practice will offer existing and new clients – mainly insurers as well as large self-insured businesses – commercial litigation expertise.

Francis Gill & Co’s founder and director Frank Gill, along with two assistant lawyers and Rory Jackson, insurance liability and regulatory partner at McClure Naismith, join the firm to kick-start the openings. Both Gill and Jackson will co-lead the practice and the entire team will be based in the Edinburgh office, while Glasgow serves as a base for flexibly working staff in the near future.

Kennedys’ senior partner Nick Thomas told Legal Business that the firm intends to double headcount across the office in the next year through lateral hires at both partner and lawyer level.

The move into Scotland is a particular win for Kennedys that almost took over Scots practice Simpson & Marwick in 2013, but talks fell through in December, despite 18 months of negotiations and a formal announcement of the union in the summer.

In terms of future merger considerations, Thomas said: ‘Nothing is off the cards. This [office launch and organic growth] is much more Kennedys style, but if the right people came along we would certainly think about it.’

‘We’ve made no secret of our desire to be in Scotland, we already have a number of insurer clients in the country and opening up in Edinburgh and Glasgow, under the expert leadership of Frank and Rory, will further enhance how we serve our existing clients and provide us with a very strong platform for further growth, which I expect to occur rapidly,’ he added.