Class actions firms join forces with US support

Lanier: Developing international relationships

Class action law firms Keller Postman UK and Lanier Longstaff Hedar & Roberts (LLHR) have merged to create a specialist practice called KP Law.

With six partners and 14 other lawyers, KP Law focuses on product liability, workers’ rights, data breach and privacy, investment fraud and financial products mis-selling, and competition law.

The merged firm will also pursue in the UK and Europe cases being brought by The Lanier Law Firm in the US, headed by leading US trial lawyer Mark Lanier.

In particular, this means continuing building a group to sue talcum powder manufacturers whose product is alleged to have caused cancer.

Mr Lanier has had success with this in the US. In 2018, he acted for 22 women and their families in securing an award of $4.7bn (reduced on appeal to $2.1bn) against Johnson & Johnson over their claims that its asbestos-laden talcum powder products caused the women’s ovarian cancer.

He only co-founded LLHR in October 2022 with barristers Tom Longstaff and Duncan Hedar, both solicitors who worked together at Linklaters before transferring to the Bar.

They take on the roles of head of product liability and head of competition respectively, with Andrew Nugent Smith, formerly managing partner of Keller Postman UK, assuming the same role at the new firm.

Keller Postman UK – which spun off from the US class action firm of the same name – is particularly well known for its data breach claims, as well as diesel emissions and equal pay actions.

Mr Nugent Smith said: “This merger adds new product liability and competition law expertise to our existing workers’ rights, data breach and privacy, financial products and investment fraud and mis-selling practices… and we are incredibly excited by the opportunity to collaborate with The Lanier Law Firm in the US.”

Mr Lanier said the merger “represents an extremely important and significant collaboration for the Lanier Law Firm as we continue to be strategic in developing relationships with firms internationally”.

Mr Longstaff added that the merger would “allow us to benefit from [Keller Postman’s] established position in the collective redress ecosystem and to increase the pace and scale at which we can bring a large number of opportunities we have developed in the short time that LLHR has been operating.”

In total, 12 people have joined from LLHR.

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