Dennis van de Water
The UK law firm finished 2017's global flurry of activity with an addition to its Latin American hub.
UK-based law firm Kennedys has strengthened its Latin American ties, signing a deal with a Puerto Rican law firm, San Juan-based Colón & Colón. The Latin American law firm acts for a series of major insurance companies which view Puerto Rico as both an important jurisdiction in its own right and also as a gateway to Latin America. Puerto Rico's status as a US territory makes it a unique location, Kennedys said in a statement announcing the link. Founded by Francisco 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 and advise on policy coverage issues and the defence of claims as well as subrogated recoveries.
The association sees Kennedys in seven new territories in Latin America and the Caribbean in just 18 months, following new offices in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Argentina, all tied into the firm's regional hub in Miami which opened in 2010. Nick Thomas, senior partner of Kennedys, said: 'Our expansion in Latin American and the Caribbean has been rapid but thought-through, with our clients consulted at every stage.We have many clients in common with Colón & Colón and they have highlighted both the value of a presence in Puerto Rico and the quality of work Francisco and his team deliver. This confirms the experience of our own lawyers’ dealings with Colón & Colón.'
Alex Guillamont, head of Kennedys’ Latin America and the Caribbean practice, added: '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 was a natural step to take. The aftermath of the hurricane has raised a lot of issues for insurers and reinsurers they will benefit from the combination of Colón & Colón’s expertise and Kennedys’ international reach and experience.'
Kennedys has had a busy year with a number of office openings in 2017 - from Bangkok, Bermuda, Melbourne and Mexico City to Paris and Argentina. It also merged with US insurance law firm Carroll McNulty & Kull and UK-based commercial litigation specialists berg.