24 May 2021

Kennedys hires 10-strong London team from UK rival BLM

Deidre Burgess, Mark Burton, chair of Kennedys' catastrophic injury group, Antony French and Anthony Rawlins outside Kennedys' offices in London

(L-r) Deidre Burgess, Mark Burton, chair of Kennedys' catastrophic injury group, Antony French and Anthony Rawlins

Led by three partners, the group will join firm's catastrophic injury team

UK insurance specialist Kennedys has hired a 10-lawyer team — including three partners —  from insurance rival BLM. 

Antony French, Deidre Burgess and Anthony Rawlins will join Kennedys’ catastrophic injury team in London alongside six associates and a litigation assistant, marking the largest batch of UK hires since the insurance giant secured a 36-strong insurance team from Langleys in January as part of its office launch in Leeds. 

Richard West, partner and head of liability, said: “We’re excited to be further enhancing Kennedys excellent reputation for defending catastrophic injury cases with the hire of Antony, Deirdre, Anthony and their team. Combining their, and our innovative approaches, experience and reputation in the market will demonstrate our continued commitment to our clients for managing their most serious and complex claims. Such cases require skilled, experienced and calm litigators. It’s a pleasure to welcome three more such partners into Kennedys.”

French joins the firm after six years at BLM, where he served as head of the firm’s catastrophic injury and insurance litigation team in London. He specialises in large catastrophic injury claims arising out of road traffic accidents and casualty claims. 

During his time at BLM, he focused on developing collaborative handling practices and proactive rehabilitation for claimants. Prior to joining the insurance specialist in 2015, he spent 14 years at UK commercial litigation firm Greenwoods where he worked as an associate partner.

Commenting on his move, French said: “I am excited to be joining an international business which is focused on capitalising on its ability to collaborate across borders. Kennedys presence and forward-thinking attitude along with the experience we bring means that we can create the ‘go to’ law firm in London for large and catastrophic injury claims for the next 20 years and beyond.”

Like French, Burgess spent the bulk of her career at Greenwoods. She jumped from Greenwoods to DWF in 2013, where she spent roughly seven years as a solicitor and technical director in the firm’s London insurance practice before moving to BLM in 2019. 

Burgess brings with her more than 20 years of experience working on complex injury cases with particular expertise in fatalities, serious orthopedic injuries, chronic pain cases, brain injuries and suspected exaggerated and fraudulent claims. 

Finally, Rawlins joins the top 25 UK firm following two years at BLM, which came after a five-year stint at DWF. Throughout his career, Rawlins has defended a number of brain injury, spinal, amputation and chronic pain cases as they relate to motor, employer’s liability and public claims. 

The City firm has been making big moves in its global insurance offering as of late. In February, it made a string of lateral partner-level hires in its Madrid, Philadelphia and Miami offices, including AXA XL’s EMEA and Latin America head Susana Martinez. 

Last fall, the firm snapped up Tel Aviv insurance boutique Zelichov Ben-Dan & Co, making it one of the first international firms to offer local law advice in Israel. 

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