Kelley Kronenberg Continues Expansion of First Party Property Insurance
The 185-member Kelley Kronenberg law firm continues its hiring wave with the addition of five first party property insurance litigators across the state.
With the latest additions in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Orlando, Kelley Kronenberg has added 10 lawyers to the practice this year. The burgeoning insurance defense group posted 30% revenue growth last year, according to senior partner and chief operating officer Howard Wander.
In an interview, Wander said his firm couldn’t hire real estate lawyers fast enough.
âWe’ve been on a hiring frenzy for the past three years,â said the West Palm Beach attorney. “We represent 16 of Florida’s top 25 carriers in the first party real estate world, and we are able to leverage that to grow our business.”
Insurance advocacy practices are also growing elsewhere in the Sunshine State. Between May and October 2020, the 150-lawyer New Jersey law firm Bressler, Amery & Ross added 10 partners to its South Florida insurance defense practice.
In an interview in October, advocacy group co-chair Hope Zelinger said the firm found time to develop business without going to the courtroom or traveling to meet with clients.
Wander said overall demand in the industry was stable, with claims from Hurricanes Irma and Sally and ongoing abuse of assignment of benefits (AOB) litigation, in which third-party contractors are using contracts with policyholders to charge excessive sums to insurance companies. .
Instead, he attributes the revenue growth and subsequent hiring to the practice’s organic growth. âWe build the trust of our customers on the basis of the quality of the work we do,â he said. âCustomers are sensitive to this, and it generates more business. “
First-party property insurance defense accounts for 35% to 40% of the firm’s legal staff, Wander said. He recently opened an office in New Orleans after his Florida clientele requested representation in the state, senior partner and CEO Michael Fichtel said in December.
Looking ahead, Wander said Kelley Kronenberg is looking to hire at its 10 offices in Florida.
âA big part of hiring is because if there is good talent, we want it,â Wander said. âWhether we need it today or not. Otherwise, there is always a need for tomorrow.