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Auckland, Austin, Bangkok, Basking Ridge, Belfast, Birmingham and 31 more

The Belfast office of this international firm reflects the London offering of a dedicated dispute resolution practice. The office was established following requests from the firm's existing clients based in the London markets that were not receiving the level and understanding of service requirements that they needed in the local market.

The firm: Kennedys responded and opened the Belfast office in 1996, and has gone from strength to strength as one of the only pure litigation practices in this jurisdiction. Its ethos is that, regardless of geographical location, its clients' will receive a London standard of service but at the lower Northern Irish charge out rates. Legal jargon is redundant. Its lawyers speak in plain English and offer a no-nonsense, straight talking service. The firm knows that the costs must be commensurate with the claim and that the insurers and insureds' positions must both be considered and protected.

Belfast offers a pan-island service, benefiting from a London office and regional mainland network as well as a Dublin office. As an international firm it can benefit from the expertise of partners in other offices, which is particularly valuable in multi-jurisdictional disputes. It has a 'very large back office'.

Kennedys continues to challenge the local firms and has expanded exponentially in recent years to meet clients' needs. It intends to continue to challenge the legal processes in Northern Ireland for its clients' benefit and to deal with matters the 'Kennedys way'.

Types of work undertaken: Insurance: like the London office, Kennedys Belfast specialises in insurance litigation, which involves advising on coverage and defending claims. It advises on a range of professional indemnity disputes in the areas of construction, medicine, financial lines and directors and officers. This includes acting for architects, engineers, surveyors, valuers, property managers, design and build contractors, brokers, accountants, financial advisors and solicitors.

Liability/personal injury defence: the firm defends claims in the areas of employers' liability, public liability, industrial disease, fatal accidents, catastrophic claims, road traffic liability and marine matters.

Employment: directors and officers claims, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims and advising on coverage for such claims.

Clinical: Kennedys Belfast has grown a healthy and expanding clinical team which advises on regulatory, disciplinary and claims matters. This includes appearing at public inquiries and the General Medical Council.

Alternative dispute resolution: this is an area regularly engaged in by the Belfast office, particularly in high-value commercial actions and construction claims. The team advise on mediation, arbitration, adjudication, conciliation as well as expert determinations and early neutral evaluations.

Marine and transport: as the Freight Transport Association solicitors and the Federation of Passenger Transport solicitors in Northern Ireland, the Belfast office is unique in dealing with logistics claims transport regulatory matters and marine claims to include personal injury matters as well as loss of vessels, collisions, fatalities and Marine Accident Investigation matters and MCA prosecutions.

Defamation: the team advises both on coverage and in defence of proceedings in relation to defamation. In particular the team specialise in Norwich Pharmacal orders seeking to trace the IP addresses and identities of those who defame on the internet under the cover of anonymity. Following on from this the firm seeks Anton Pillar/search orders against identified individuals. The firm also advises in data protection matters and freedom of information requests.

Commercial: the firm acts for public bodies, private companies and high-net-worth individuals in relation to breach of contract disputes, freezing orders, search orders and dealing with recovery actions for insurers and insureds to include pursuing companies into administration and dealing with insurance issues arising out of company administrations.

Health and safety: the firm acts for insureds and companies in relation to inquests, health and safety prosecutions and criminal proceedings arising out of accidents involving employees to include advising in relation to corporate/manslaughter charges and other health and safety breaches as well as dealing with the personal injury/dependency claims arising out of fatal accidents.

  • Number of UK partners: 130
  • Number of other UK fee-earners: 670

Above material supplied by Kennedys.

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