Kennedys opens year with confirmation of Latin American expansion

We are pleased to confirm that we have strengthened our presence in Latin America with the addition of an office in Argentina and an association in Puerto Rico.

These developments mean that we have extended our reach to seven new territories in Latin America and the Caribbean in just 18 months, following new offices in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru – all of which complement our regional hub in Miami that opened in 2010.

The Argentina office is led by Alberto Bunge, the former head of Alberto Bunge & Associates (ABA), with whom we held a formal association since January 2016. Specialist insurance lawyers, Virginia Couto and Marina Klein, complete the team, which also has agents in other jurisdictions within Argentina, ensuring that clients will be able to access services outside of the capital as well.

The focus of the office, located in Buenos Aires’ downtown quarter and within walking distance of a number of international insurers and reinsurers, is on larger and complex insurance and reinsurance matters, including coverage, defence and policy wording for all lines, particularly property and casualty, energy and financial lines. The office also has a strong regulatory practice, often working in tandem with our Miami office.

Argentina continues to be the third largest economy in Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico in terms of both GDP and insurance and reinsurance premiums. A significant number of international insurers and reinsurers have local offices including Berkley, Chubb, Fairfax, Generali, IRB, Liberty, Mapfre, Munich Re, QBE, Sura, XL Catlin and Zurich, with many others also supporting the local market.

We can also confirm the formalisation of a new association in Puerto Rico with boutique law firm Colón & Colón, which is based in San Juan and acts for a number of major insurers who see the country as both an important jurisdiction in its own right and also as a gateway to Latin America. Its status as a US territory makes it a unique location.

Founded by Francisco J. Colón Pagán in 2002, Colón & Colón has experience on a broad range of insurance law issues, including property and casualty, products, aviation, marine and cargo, motor, environmental and medical malpractice claims. They advise on policy coverage issues and the defence of claims as well as subrogated recoveries.

Mr Colón Pagán is supported by partner Francisco J. Mercado Olivero, senior associates Johanna Rivera Cruz and Margarita Rosado Toledo, all of whom have more than ten years of experience.

Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys, said: “Argentina is one of the largest insurance markets in the Latin American region, and there was a growing need from both existing and potential clients for us to have a full Kennedys presence available to them.

“Our expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean has been rapid but thought-through, with our clients consulted at every stage. Both our Argentinian office and association in Puerto Rico will help secure Kennedys’ premiere position in the Latin America insurance market and adds to our considerable expertise across the region."

Our combination of local, regional and global knowledge and expertise is valued greatly by our clients, who have influenced our decision in establishing a local presence in Buenos Aires - making us more accessible to international insurers and reinsurers operating in Argentina.

Since we opened the Miami office for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2010, work related to Puerto Rico has increased year on year, so this our formal association with Colón & Colón was a natural step to take. The aftermath of the hurricane has also raised a lot of issues for insurers and reinsurers who will benefit from the combination of Colón & Colón’s expertise and Kennedys’ international reach and experience.

Alex Guillamont, Head of Kennedys’ Latin America and the Caribbean practice

Our office in Argentina is located at: Av. Cordoba 817 piso 8° oficina “16” - C1054AAI, Buenos Aires.

This is the latest in a long line of global developments, including office openings last year announced in Bangkok, Bermuda, Melbourne, Mexico City and Paris.