DAC Beachcroft has hired a team of two partners and four associates from the London office of Sedgwick as the latter prepares to close its doors in early January.
The six-lawyer group joining DAC Beachcroft includes international property and casualty team head Mark Kendall, who also led Sedgwick’s Latin America group, and litigation and disputes partner Duncan Strachan. Both will join the British firm in January.
Kendall’s insurance and reinsurance practice has a focus on international casualty, product recall and liability work in the automotive, food and beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. Strachan acts for insurance clients on litigation defense and coverage issues throughout Europe and Latin America.
Sedgwick senior associates Lucy Dyson and Sarah Hennessy will join both partners at DAC Beachcroft, along with associates Alison Thompson and Kayleigh Stout, as well as a non-fee earner.
“By leveraging our strong insurance platform, this talented new team will be able to help us to attract even more of the complex, high-value work with which our clients entrust us both in London and also internationally, particularly in Latin America,” said DAC Beachcroft managing partner David Pollitt.
Helen Faulkner, head of insurance at DAC Beachcroft, added in her own statement that the lateral hires will help the firm expand its client base in the key London market. (DAC Beachcroft, a 1,400-lawyer firm that peeled off two New Zealand offices in October, was formed through a 2011 merger.)
Just last week, rival British firm RPC picked up Sedgwick insurance partner Naomi Vary and professional indemnity partner Karen Morrish in London.
The departures to RPC and DAC Beachcroft now leave Sedgwick with just two partners left in the city: Tristan Hall and Edward Smerdon, the latter the firm’s local managing partner and a member of its executive committee. Smerdon, Hall and the now DAC Beachcroft-bound Kendall all joined Sedgwick in 2010 from RPC.
The American Lawyer reported Tuesday that Clyde & Co, another U.K.-based firm, is poised to take on up to 25 Sedgwick partners from several offices in the U.S., many of them on the West Coast. Clyde & Co has also reportedly been interested in parts of Sedgwick’s London office.