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Our history

A brief history of Kennedys' growth

Kennedys has seen significant growth over the last five years. This has been driven partly by our growth agenda and by changes in our key insurance markets, to ensure that we are best placed to serve this part of our practice both now and into the future. 

2018 Buenos Aires (Argentina) office opens.
2017  Hamilton (Bermuda) office opens.
Paris (France) office opens.
Bangkok (Thailand) office opens.
  Manchester (England) commercial litigation firm Berg & Co (berg) merges with Kennedys.
  Melbourne (Australia) office opens.
  US insurance law firm Carroll McNulty & Kull (CMK) merges with Kennedys, establishing Kennedys CMK in North America.
  Mexico City (Mexico) office opens.
2016 Marine and shipping firm Waltons & Morse (London) merges with Kennedys. 
  Kennedys wins The Legal 500 UK Firm of the Year for insurance (regional) and transport (travel).
  Santiago (Chile) and Bogota (Colombia) offices open.
  Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Lima (Peru) offices open.
  Kennedys wins Legal Technology Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards.
  Danish firm Advokatfirmaet Erritzøe merges with Kennedys and we acquire an office in Copenhagen (Denmark). 
 2015 Kennedys launches US capability from Miami hub.
  Moscow (Russia) office (Kennedys CIS Advocates) opens. 
  Kennedys enters in to a joint legal venture with Singapore firm, Legal Solutions LLC.
 2014 Edinburgh and Glasgow (Scotland) offices open.
  Kennedys gains Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licence.
 2013 Kennedys merges with Gates and Partners and acquires a new office in Brussels (Belgium).
 2011  Lisbon (Portugal) and Dublin (Ireland) offices open.
 2010 Sheffield (England) and Miami (for Latin America) offices open.
  Kennedys wins Law Firm of the Year and Insurance Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards.
Kennedys converts to an LLP.
 2008 Manchester (England), Singapore and Taunton (England) offices open.
  Kennedys merges with Davies Lavery and acquires offices in Birmingham and Maidstone (England).
 2006 Dubai (UAE) and Sydney (Australia) offices open.
 2005 Madrid (Spain) and Chelmsford (England) offices open.
 2004 Cambridge (England) office opens.
 2000 Hong Kong and Auckland (New Zealand) offices open.
 1996 Belfast (Northern Ireland) office opens.
 1899 Kennedys was founded.


Kennedys was founded in 1899

After qualifying as a Barrister and Solicitor in the State of Victoria, Australia, UK-born Charles Frederick Kennedy moved to London, qualified as a Solicitor in England and became a Partner at Paddison, Chapelle & Kennedy.

Over the years, Kennedy was in several partnerships: Kennedy, Danvers & Co; C. Frederick Kennedy & Co; Kennedy Lindo & Co; and Kennedy Genese & Co.

Sadly, Kennedy was taken ill and passed away in 1942 at the age of 79.

Genese recollects Kennedy well:

"Kennedy had an Australian accent ... and a keen sense of humour. He was friendly and talkative with a booming voice and a very friendly personality. He was a man of strong character and was very proud and nothing would have pleased him more to know that Kennedys had grown to its present day size."

Genese took over the practice, keeping the name of the firm, before expanding and becoming Kennedy, Genese & Syson and later Kennedy, Genese, Syson & Lewis.

In the 1960s, Partner Eric Lewis noticed that people were getting tongue tied with the name at the time 'Kennedy, Genese, Syson & Lewis' and suggested that the name was shortened. At the same time John F. Kennedy had just become President of the USA and was very much "in the fashion".

A neutral name of 'Kennedys' was agreed and the firm has continued to practice under this name ever since.