Kennedys boosts personal injury practice with 24-strong casualty team from Hill Dickinson

We are pleased to confirm the appointment of a 24-strong team from Hill Dickinson which strengthens our Sheffield office and national personal injury practice.

The team, which comprises three partners and 21 legal and support staff, were all previously part of Hill Dickinson’s Sheffield office.

Leading the team is Alan Dury, Suzanne Wilkinson and Paul Bedford, who are well-known for their expertise in advising on, and defending, casualty claims, including disease and catastrophic injury matters. They moved from DLA Piper to Hill Dickinson in 2013 and act for (re)insurers, loss adjusters and corporates across multiple sectors, including retail, manufacturing, construction and logistics.

Alan began his career as a trainee with DLA Piper and was a partner there for 13 years before moving to Hill Dickinson. He has led the team for over 10 years and has been ranked in the Legal 500 UK directory for over a decade, successfully defending many high value claims, including the defence of a UK plc against a multi-million dollar product liability claim in the US, a claim in excess of £1 million for property damage following a flood, and an international charity against significant personal injury claims arising from a car accident in the deserts of Ethiopia. Alan has over 25 years’ experience of defending companies and insurers against complex and significant employers', public and occupiers' liability claims, including catastrophic injury and high value property damage claims.

Suzanne started her career at DLA Piper and became a partner upon moving to Hill Dickinson where she has led on the defence of a number of significant claims, including one which defined the law concerning property damage caused between neighbours. With more than 20 years’ experience, Suzanne specialises in defending employers’ liability, public liability and property damage claims. The Legal 500 UK 2016 described her as “first class”.

Paul has almost 17 years’ experience and will join as a partner. He specialises in handling public liability matters, such as claims against rail operators, logistics companies, leisure operators, private security firms and probation trusts. He has defended many sensitive cases, including a number of recent high profile claims concerning multiple food poisoning and norovirus claims at a well-known restaurant and at a national hotel chain.

Our Sheffield office opened in 2010 with the appointment of a 60-strong team from Halliwells. Since opening, the office has gone from strength to strength with headcount more than doubling to 122. The office specialises in insurance, commercial and real estate work and is led by Partner Suzanne Liversidge who was the first ever female President of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Sheffield’s Business Woman of the Year for two years running.

I’m delighted that Alan, Suzanne, Paul and their team have joined Kennedys. They come with excellent reputations and strong client relationships that fit with our insurance and claims strategy. Their appointments significantly complement our local expertise in the north and reinforce our appetite for attracting top talent.

Alan is thrilled to be bringing the entire Sheffield casualty team with him. Not only do we share the same clients, which makes this a fantastic fit, Kennedys’ international network is a distinct advantage for the team. We’re delighted that their clients have been so encouraging about the move.

Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys

Since the start of the year, we have launched a formal association with Italian firm Studio Legale Rinaldi Associati and opened a new office in Mexico complementing the string of South America office openings in 2016.

Earlier this month we confirmed the appointment of DR Lee as partner to our marine insurance and shipping practice, who became the fifth UK lateral hire this year.