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We are shocked and devastated by the senseless crime motivated by hatred and racism that was committed in our community on June 6. We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who were killed, and wish a full recovery to the surviving young boy who remains in hospital. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim partners, colleagues, clients, friends, and neighbours in rejecting Islamophobia in all forms, and demanding better for our community. Hatred has no place here. It diminishes every one of us. Each of us shares the responsibility for putting an end to it. We recognize that as members of the legal profession, our share of that responsibility is heightened. This unspeakable crime strikes at the very core of the Muslim community’s sense of security and will have a lasting impact. Although this tragedy can never be undone, we believe the goodness in our city will prevail. We commit to be better for each other, to demand better from each other and to share love, kindness and tolerance with one another. We must stand together to build a safer, more inclusive community for all.

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Siskinds is deeply saddened to have lost our dear friend, valued partner and colleague John Kennedy on Sunday, May 16, 2021.

Graeme Sperryn, a partner of John’s in the Business Law Group, writes:

John will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was larger than life, an indefatigable optimist and blessed with ceaseless energy and zest for life and people. These qualities encompassed all parts of his life, whether work, leisure, community, family life and other pursuits.

We send our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to John’s wife Susan, and his sons, Chris, Peter and Michael and their families.

John was called to the bar in 1977 and has been a dedicated partner at Siskinds for almost 19 years. John and Henry Berg were the founders of the London law firm Aston Berg Kennedy & Morrissey (later Berg Kennedy Cleaver Broad LLP), which they grew to be a successful mid-sized full service law firm for 19 years. Following an approach by Siskinds the firm merged with Siskinds in July 2002 proving to be a happy and successful combination. 

John had a very successful business law practice, which included family-owned businesses and charities, not-for-profits and commercial and residential property developers. Before the time of widespread specialization in law, John took on all manner of diverse legal matters, learned the applicable law and, with his intelligence and knack for working through difficult situations (and sometimes demanding clients), invariably found solutions. John recognized that the essence of what he did was to solve business law problems for busy entrepreneurs who needed responsive solution-oriented advice and service, and this is what they knew they could rely on from John. He was a natural “doer” and simply got on with things. This energy was an important part of the success of Berg Kennedy and of John’s practice. John’s standard response to anyone asking how he was doing was “ Fabulous!” or “Never been better!”. There was no quit in him.

John had a great love of life and family. He had a highly active life with a family cottage in Muskoka with outdoors, boats, mountains, water-skiing, skiing and mountain biking all being pursuits and activities which John enjoyed. He was also a man of culture who loved music and musicians, and was deeply involved in the leadership of Orchestra London and the Jeans and Classics concerts series for a number of years. He also liked to strap on an electric guitar and “go through the song book” with his musical friends, as he put it. John was very involved with Boler Mountain and the London Track 3 Ski School which operates wonderful ski programs for people with challenges.

Within the firm, John could always be counted upon to bring a helpful and pragmatic perspective to some of the tricky and unique issues that arise in business law.

We are grateful to Julie Campbell who has worked closely with John for the past six years, with great loyalty and dedication, including over the past year during which time John continued his practice notwithstanding the significant challenges to his health.

John will be deeply missed by all of his Siskinds family; his place in the Siskinds pantheon is assured.

Go well John.

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