Nick Thomas - Kennedys-Article-201608110715

Kennedys is to merge with London marine and shipping boutique Waltons & Morse, adding around £6m to the insurance firm’s top line.

Waltons & Morse has five partners, one consultant and 13 other legal staff. In 2015-16 it took in revenues of £6m, meaning the acquisition will take Kennedys – which posted 2015-16 revenues of £138.8m – close to the £150m mark.

The firm focuses on shipping, marine insurance and transport and logistics, and acts for clients such as insurers, charterers, insurers and commodity-trading companies.

Waltons & Morse managing partner Chris Dunn will lead a new international marine team at Kennedys, to be called Kennedys Marine, and will join the firm’s board.

Kennedys Marine will have 30 members, including 12 partners, with representatives in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Singapore and the Americas.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas (pictured) said: “This merger is an excellent fit for us, making an instant impact in marine insurance and shipping, and allowing us to further our growth ambitions in areas where our clients need it.”

Dunn said: “This is a merger of two very like-minded businesses. Our partners are attracted to Kennedys’ approachable and inclusive culture and their reputation for quality work in the (re)insurance sector.”

Kennedys has been on an expansion drive of late, opening four new offices in Latin America in the past two months. In July, the firm opened in Brazil and Peru, which it followed up with openings in Chile and Colombia in August.