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Kennedys looks to ensure next stage of growth with first managing partner

Kennedys has appointed its first global managing partner following a sustained period of growth which has seen turnover increase 70% in the last five years on the back of expansion into 37 international offices.

Suzanne Liversidge (pictured), who joined the insurance and shipping specialist as the head of its Sheffield office in 2010, was today (20 August) appointed the firm’s first managing partner. She will work alongside the firm’s senior partner of more than 20 years, Nick Thomas, who was re-elected to a fifth term in 2017.

Liversidge is a member of the firm’s global strategy, R&D and innovation boards and leads its Women in insurance network. The managing partner position was established to work with Thomas on the strategic and operational management of the firm: last year its revenue broke through £200m for the first time.

‘Kennedys is a firm with great ambition, and I am looking forward to working even more closely with Nick and colleagues to continue, and improve upon, the excellent work that we are doing in the UK and Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and Bermuda and Latin America and the Caribbean,’ Liversidge commented. ‘I’m honoured to have this opportunity to take Kennedys to the next stage of its evolution working alongside Nick and the global strategy board.’

Thomas added: ‘We’ve experienced significant growth in recent years and there is still much more to achieve as a firm. Suzanne has a deep understanding of the insurance industry, our clients and our global network having worked with all Kennedys’ offices.’

Liversidge became the first female president of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce in 2011, and is a member of the professional network for members of the LGBT+ community who work in the insurance sector, Link.

Alongside an 11% increase in turnover for the year to 30 April 2019, fee-earner headcount at Kennedys grew 7% to exceed 2,000 for the first time. The firm made a number of lateral hires last year, most recently a 10-lawyer team – including two partners – from Norton Rose Fulbright.

The increase in revenue followed the coming together of various investments Kennedys has made in the last few years: the firm merged with US insurance firm Carroll McNulty & Kull in 2017, with revenue in the region up 16% to £35.9m this year.

The Asia-Pacific region similarly saw revenue increase by over a quarter to £35.7m, while Latin America more than doubled to £6.2m, with the firm establishing three new associations in each of the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Panama in March. Kennedys’ UK revenue was up 8% to £126m.

Thomas told Legal Business in June the firm still needed to fill obvious gaps on the West Coast of the US and in other parts of Europe and would look for opportunities in those areas as they arose.

hamish.mcnicol@legalease.co.uk


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