Senior partner Nigel Morgan has a passionate view of MLM Solicitors. The Cardiff firm may not be the biggest in the area, but Morgan enthuses that it is going from strength to strength. "We meet a need for fast, efficient advice at competitive prices," he boasts. "We punch above our weight and have established a reputation as a niche commercial practice."
Based in the centre of Cardiff, MLM was co-founded in 2001 by Morgan, then a partner with Bevan Ashford, and three other former Bevan Ashford lawyers. The firm is built around core commercial expertise with an emphasis on property, litigation, employment and corporate. Morgan doubles as senior partner and head of the commercial property department.
MLM has a well-regarded media practice, run by associate Aled Walters. This boasts clients such as Welsh broadcaster S4C and third-generation mobile operator 3, which, with its launch of 3G technology, has been engaged in the fastest rollout of mobile services by any telecoms operator across Europe. "It's generated a vast volume of work," says Morgan. The firm advised on the acquisition of sites for masts, with partner David King looking after the client in the Midlands, Wales and the South West.
Morgan says MLM is "very proud" of being appointed to the Law Society's panel for intervention work in Wales. The appointment was made in May, and MLM now handles the lion's share of interventions in Wales. "We go in to a firm on behalf of the Law Society and take it over," says Morgan. "It's a major exercise."
If this keeps Morgan and his colleagues busy, so too does the Celtic Manor Resort, which has been a client of the firm since it was set up. The five-star resort has been designated the official venue for the Ryder Cup in 2010. MLM handles its banking, finance and general commercial work, as well as the legal work in the build-up to the Ryder Cup. "It's extraordinary how much work there is in the lead-up to a major sporting event," says Morgan. "We're occupied with sponsorship, accreditation and signage issues already, some seven years before the competition."
Morgan is proud of what MLM has achieved in its short life. Turnover is around £2.5m and the firm has exceeded yearly business plans since its inception. Yet Morgan insists that it is people, and not profits per partner, that are key at MLM. "We have some very good people here, the likes of David King and Aled Walters, as well as Andrea Thomas [in litigation] and my co-founders. They're what will drive us on."
As to where MLM is being driven, Morgan believes that Cardiff is on the cusp of substantial commercial development, and that MLM is perfectly poised to take advantage. "We want to be at the centre of the growing demand for legal services in Cardiff," he says. "We know exactly where we are - and where we're going."
Senior partner: Nigel Morgan Turnover: £2.5m Number of equity partners: Four Total number of partners: Five Total number of lawyers: 20 Main practice areas: Corporate/commercial, employment, litigation, media and property Key clients: Carmarthenshire NHS Trust, Celtic Manor Resort, ELWa (Education and Learning Wales), 3 and the Law Society Number of offices: One Location: Cardiff