12:33, June 29 147 0

2017-06-29 12:33:05
Kennedys strengthens Manchester with nine-partner merger

Kennedys has increased its commercial litigation department with a nine-strong partner team from Manchester firm Berg.

Berg will merge officially with Kennedys on 1 September, with its 52 staff joining Kennedys’ 68-strong Manchester office.

It is understood that Kennedys specifically targeted Berg for the merger as the firm seeks to strengthen the practice.

Berg has been involved in a series of high-profile cases in the past with arguably the most well-known coming during the four-year case against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which concluded in May this year.

The firm represented Mike and Diane Hockin in their claim that an interest-rate swap ruined their business. RBS settled on the third day of the five-week trial.

News of the merger comes shortly after Kennedys posted a turnover increase of eight per cent but that debt had also risen to £20.3m. The firm also merged with Carroll, McNulty & Kull in May.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: “Our two firms are a complementary fit, and the merger allows us to offer clients significantly enhanced commercial litigation and complementary services.

“We are also pleased to be further growing our presence in Manchester. The city’s talent pool and our increased presence there provide a strong platform to source, attract and retain talent.”

Berg declined to publish its turnover and PEP but said it was keen to extend its footprint beyond Manchester. A spokesperson for the firm echoed Thomas’ sentiment, describing the merge as a “good cultural fit for both parties”.

Berg chief executive Allison Loveday, who qualified with the firm in 1992, said: “We’re aware that many law firms are simply not set up to meet the needs of modern clients, and that’s why we have worked hard to provide commercial solutions beyond traditional litigation work. The appeal of merging with Kennedys is that it will allow us to carry on this pioneering work as part of a network that is global, but not faceless.”

“The merger will provide flexibility for clients, offering access to integrated commercial, legal, and financial solutions that will benefit both firms. We can be as specialist – or as global – as our clients require, while still maintaining the innovative approach people expect from us.”

The firm was founded in 1980 by Reuben Berg and his friendship with Kennedys head of commercial division Dino Paganuzzi helped this deal along.