Kennedys bolsters global marine and energy practice with hire of 12-strong team

We are pleased to announce that we have strengthened our marine and energy capabilities with the hire of a 12-strong insurance coverage and disputes team based in our London office.

The market leading team, joining us from Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), comprises three partners, Patrick Foss, Chris Zavos and Jo Ward, along with seven other lawyers and two support staff. The team represent Lloyd’s syndicates and global insurers.

Patrick Foss brings over 30 years’ experience working in insurance law. His practice is primarily focused on coverage, defence and disputes work in marine, offshore and onshore energy, terrorism, trade credit and political risk. Patrick co-wrote the first three editions of Good Faith and Insurance Contracts and speaks at many of the leading international marine and energy conferences.

Chris Zavos qualified in 1991 and has extensive experience in advising on complex coverage as well as liability defence, subrogation and sanctions issues. He regularly advises on claims under marine, war, BAR/CAR, yacht, cargo and offshore policies as well political risks insurances. Chris has managed many market leading cases through arbitration and litigation both in London (up to Supreme Court level) and in other jurisdictions. He has been ad hoc legal adviser to the London Market’s Joint Hull Committee since 2002.

Jo Ward’s practice is focused on marine insurance coverage work including hull & machinery, cargo, liability, mortgagee’s interest, ports and terminals and specie. She also acts for owners, charterers and their respective insurers on shipping litigation matters, including subrogated recoveries and claims under charter parties and bills of lading.

Other lawyers joining are: Senior Associates, Amy Byrne, Anna Haigh and Debbie Larkin; and Associates Jake Hooper, Imogen Lowe, Suzy Oakley and Rachel Pearce.

The team’s arrival follows the appointment of Finance Director Jo Woods, who joined us in April from NRF. Jo brings a wealth of experience from working across different sectors and for high-profile professional services organisations including Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), The Boston Consulting Group and has also worked for the BBC and Francis Crick Institute.

Insurer clients are increasingly looking for their legal advisors to provide a full service offering in respect of all classes of insurance. Chris, Patrick, Jo and their team bring considerable market knowledge and expertise that will complement our existing capabilities, representing an exciting opportunity for us to increase our market share and first class service for insurers.

Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys

Chris Dunn, Global Head of Marine at Kennedys, adds: “We have known Chris, Patrick, Jo and their team for many years and we are proud to be welcoming them to Kennedys. Our clients have been very supportive of this development as it widens our talent pool by increasing our strength and depth.”

Commenting on his team's arrival, Patrick says: “Kennedys has a tremendous international reputation for insurance work and is well placed to adapt to the ever-changing insurance industry, making this move an attractive proposition for us and our client base.”

Chris Zavos adds: “Our expertise will add to the firm's already highly regarded marine and energy practice, helping to build its premier marine offering to the London and international markets, as well as complementing its capabilities throughout Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and the Americas and Bermuda.”

This news follows our merger with boutique marine and shipping law firm Waltons & Morse in 2016 and the hire of a five-strong team of partners from Mayer Brown in 2018, including Ingrid Hobbs, Tim McCaw, Andrew McGahey, Andrew Westlake and political risk specialist David Chadwick.