Global law firm Kennedys has boosted its Australian practice with the appointment of employment practice specialist Justin Claude Le Blond as a partner in its Sydney office.

Justin is joined by senior associate Persephone Forster, significantly strengthening a strategic area of practice for Kennedys in Australia. Both were formerly at HWL Ebsworth.

Employment Practices Liability (EPL) is a significant growth area in Australia as a result of a number of insurers focusing on management liability products in the small and medium enterprise (SME) market.

Kennedys acts for several insurers on employment matters and these appointments underscore the firm’s commitment to building a leading EPL practice.

Justin has specific expertise in employment and industrial relations law, work health and safety, litigation, both in advisory and litigated matters. He acts for a number of large insurers, as well as commercial clients across a range of sectors including insurance, manufacturing and engineering, healthcare, property, professional services, IT, transport and government.

Persephone has a combined advisory and litigation practice with a focus on employment law, industrial relations and employment strategy including internal and external communications, administrative law, restraints of trade, protecting confidential information, payroll tax, corporate governance, enquiries and disciplinary hearings.

Justin becomes the 22nd lateral partner, globally, appointed by Kennedys this year, joining casualty partner Michael Kavanagh who arrived in August to lead the firm’s new office in Melbourne.

Justin says: ’I am excited to be joining Kennedys in Sydney and to be part of a global firm. I can see how my practice complements the firm’s strategy, and Persephone and I look forward to supporting global clients and working with the team to grow the employment practice in Australia.’

Matt Andrews, partner at Kennedys’ Sydney office, says: ’Following the recent office opening in Melbourne, we are further reinforcing our commitment to the Australian market by expanding our capacity to service national clients.

’I am delighted to welcome Justin and Persephone to the firm. They are talented and experienced employment liability specialists who have the industry expertise and proven track record that our clients demand.’