Michael Kennedy, the co-founding partner, shareholder and member of the board of directors of Gallagher & Kennedy, has died after a courageous battle with liver cancer.
The law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy was founded in 1978, when Kennedy and Michael Gallagher decided to open their own law firm in Phoenix. More than 40 years later, the law firm is the sixth-largest law firm in Arizona. Kennedy practiced in general civil litigation and served as local, regional and national counsel to a variety of business clients, including Arizona sports teams, law firms, retailers and energy companies.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Michael Kennedy — a philanthropist and personal friend who was a tireless champion for the community that was his home,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. “Mike left a lasting impression on everyone he met — including me. He was devoted to serving our community and helping those in need. For years, he dedicated his time to youth, conservation, education and numerous other charitable causes.”
A civic-minded Phoenician, Kennedy was the Arizona Host Committee Chairman for Super Bowl XLII, was a member of the Executive Committee for the Arizona Host Committee for Super Bowl XLIX, was a member of The Thunderbirds, served as Chairman of the Phoenix Open, had been President of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation since its inception, served as President of the Maricopa County Bar Association and the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, and was an inaugural member of the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame. Kennedy was consecutively recognized as a “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America from 2005 to the present and by Chambers USA since 2003. Acknowledged by Southwest Super Lawyers since 2007, Kennedy was honored as a “Super Lawyer” in 2013 in all of his practice areas: General Commercial Litigation, Professional Liability Litigation and Representation of Professional Sports Teams.
“Mike cared deeply for Arizona, and stopped at nothing to lift it up,” Ducey said. “He worked closely with Michael Bidwill and the Arizona Cardinals organization to help secure Super Bowls and College National Championships to our state. He served as Arizona Host Committee Chairman for Super Bowl XLII and was a member of the Executive Committee for the Arizona Host Committee for Super Bowl XLIX. He was involved in a number of groups and committees that support Arizona and draw people to our beautiful state. Mike was also a leader in the legal community — a member of the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame and co-founder of Gallagher & Kennedy. Mike’s passing will be felt by many people across Arizona, and he will be dearly missed.”