05:43, March 01 450 0

2017-03-01 05:43:10
Hill Dickinson closes Sheffield office as 24 lawyers and staff decamp to Kennedys

Kennedys has hired a 24-strong casualty claims team from Hill Dickinson, which includes three partners and a number of legal support staff.

The team,led by Alan Dury, Suzanne Wilkinson and Paul Bedford, will move across in April and will spark the closure Hill Dickinson’s Sheffield office.

Hill Dickinson chief operating officer Iain Johnston confirmed the closure to The Lawyer, stating: “We were unsuccessful in retaining our position on a client panel review, and after speaking to clients we have decided that this is the best decision for the firm.”

All three partners started their careers at DLA Piper prior to moving to Hill Dickinson.

Nick Thomas, senior partner at Kennedys, said the team “comes with excellent reputations and strong client relationships that fit with our insurance and claims strategy”.

Thomas, who was re-elected for a fifth term earlier this year, is perceived to be a central driving force of the firm’s international growth strategy.

In September, The Lawyer reported that Kennedys was looking to significantly boost its Americas presence with ambitions to open four more offices in the US and plans for a further two in Latin America.

Since then, the firm has launched a new office in Mexico City this year, appointing three new partners to it. In 2016, Kennedys orchestrated Latin America office openings in Brazil and Peru in July, and Chile and Colombia in August.

In Europe, the firm also launched an associated office in Italy.

In the last financial year, Kennedys announced turnover growth of 7 per cent, from £129.9m to £138.8m.

Meanwhile, Hill Dickinson most recently hired former Alterian deputy chairman Iain Johnston as its first chief operating officer (COO) late last year as part of a restructure of Hill Dickinson’s senior management team.

It has also boosted its national healthcare practice this year, hiring Capsticks commercial partner Jessica Kohler, who will work alongside Sarah Brooke, who joined the firm’s London health team last year from PwC Legal.