In an expansive start to the new year, UK firms Kennedys , TLT and Clyde & Co have established new frontiers at home and abroad.
Kennedys has opened its 42nd global office, and its 12th in the UK, with a Leeds launch via the acquisition of Langleys’ insurance team. The new office will be headed up by David Thompson, formerly managing partner and head of insurance at Langleys. He will be joined by three other partners and 32 team heads, lawyers and staff from the insurance group.
Of the joining partners, Huw Edwards focuses on motor liability matters, Laura Collins manages a team which provides pre-litigated claims handling services to insurers and self-retained corporations, and Carol Dalton acts for insurers on public liability matters.
Thompson commented: ‘It puts us in an excellent position to further grow our practice from our new base in Leeds. Many of our clients already work with Kennedys so I know that it is a move that our clients will very much support.’
The opening comes at an intrepid time for Kennedys, with the firm establishing new bases in San Francisco and Israel last year along with an association with Canadian insurance firm Dalden Wallace Folick.
Meanwhile, Bristol-based TLT has entered into a strategic partnership with Belgian firm GSJ advocaten. The partnership is the second of its kind TLT has pursued on the continent, after a similar relationship was forged with Dutch outfit Holla in June last year.
The partnership brings synergies between the two in key sector specialisms such as real estate, financial services, retail and the public sector. It also gifts TLT a vital post-Brexit Belgian presence, in the heart of the EU.
TLT’s head of international Chris Owen told Legal Business that while Brexit was not a deciding factor in the partnership, it played an important role for clients: ‘A lot of our work is in retail and the public sector, which involves a lot of logistics, which is obviously a big issue at the moment for clients. They want us to have a presence in Europe as that is where they are doing business.’
Owen added that the tie-ups with Holla and now GSJ mark an ongoing demand from clients who want European support. He said: ‘In the long-term we are interested in France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltics are interesting from a fintech perspective.’
Finally, Clyde & Co has launched a new regulatory and investigations consultancy arm in Dubai through the hire of Neal Ysart. Ysart, who arrives from EY’s Dubai office, has over 35 years’ experience in investigations, including a 16-year stint in law enforcement, which involved a tenure at Scotland Yard.
The objective of the new consultancy is to provide Middle East-based organisations with an advisory service which recognises, investigates and manages the threat of financial crime and other regulatory risks.
The consultancy is made up of both lawyers and former regulators, and will be headed up by Clyde’s partner and head of regulatory and investigations in the Middle East, Matthew Shanahan.
Shanahan said: ‘Typically organisations have to engage both management consultants and lawyers to achieve their objectives. With Neal’s strategic experience and our team’s broad range and depth of expertise, this new service will provide a one-stop-shop that will save both time and money, and also help ensure that any legal or regulatory concerns are identified early.’