Morgan Cole insurance pair jump ship

Morgan Cole has lost two more insurance partners, just months after expelling its highly-rated head of insurance from the partnership over his plans to set up his own firm

The news also follows the firm's split with London market insurance practice Fishburn Boxer.

The latest to leave the firm is Mark Fanning, who headed Morgan Cole's Croydon office and was a client partner for Axa. Fanning has joined Badhams Law in London, which is also an Axa firm.

Fanning is under a restrictive covenant, but is expected to work with Axa in the future, once terms have expired. The hire is a major coup for Badhams, which last year merged part of its practice with professional indemnity firm Williams Davies Meltzer.

In a separate move, highly-rated personal injury and professional indemnity partner Hugh Price left shortly before Fanning, and has joined leading Welsh practice Hugh James.

Both partners belonged to the division headed by Iain Tenquist, who was expelled from Morgan Cole in February. Morgan Cole took the drastic step of applying for an injunction against Tenquist at Bristol High Court before resolving the matter. The Lawyer can now reveal that Fanning and partner Neil Forsyth, who is still at the firm, were also named in the early stages of the legal proceedings before resolving their positions with Morgan Cole.

Sources close to the firm said the departures could scupper Morgan Cole's plans for its new 20,000sq ft offices under development in Swansea. But chairman John Cole said that the office would still include an expanded volume insurance practice. He added: “We expect over the next six months to increase our partners in insurance by three.”

Morgan Cole has also just made six non-lawyers redundant. Cole said the cuts were a consequence of the split with Fishburn Boxer.