International firm Kennedys has looked closer to home for the latest in a string of mergers.  

The firm today confirmed that it will merge with boutique marine and shipping firm Waltons & Morse from 1 November.

Waltons & Morse, founded in London in 1845, has a 28-strong team including five partners, one consultant and 13 other legal staff. Following the merger the team will operate under the name Kennedys Marine.

Combining operations will create a £150m turnover business, edging Kennedys into the top 30 UK firms by revenue.

Nick Thomas (pictured), senior partner at Kennedys, 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. Marine insurance has been a strategic area of growth for Kennedys.’

The decision to merge was unanimously accepted by both partnerships. The firms are situated close to each other, and all Waltons & Morse staff will move to Kennedys’ flagship Fenchurch Street office by the end of the year.

Waltons & Morse’s managing partner, Chris Dunn, will lead Kennedys Marine, and will join the firm’s board. Kennedys Marine will comprise 30 experts across the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Australia and the Americas, including 12 partners.  

The merger is the latest in a string of expansions announced by Kennedys in the past year, including new offices in Copenhagen, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia, as well as two associate offices in Norway and Sweden.

The firm now has a worldwide headcount of more than 1,450 including 195 partners.