Morgan Cole set to make support staff redundancies in Swansea

Morgan Cole is on the brink of closing a 14-strong redundancy consultation in Swansea following the offloading of its claims group to DAC Beachcroft and Berrymans Lace Mawer (BLM) last year.

The consultation, which closes this month, comes after the firm’s merger announcement with Blake Lapthorn to create a £72m combined firm on later this year (20 March 2014).

Managing partner Elizabeth Carr said the redundancies were not connected to the forthcoming merger and were a consequence of the sell-off if its insurance teams at the end of last year (15 November 2013).

The Cardiff-headquartered firm transferred its Bristol-based volume claims and catastrophic insurance teams to DACB and handed a partner and seven staff to BLM in November 2013.

DACB also took 35 fee earners and 24 support staff from Morgan Cole while one partner and seven staff moved to BLM.

The consultation comes to an end just two months before the firm can exercise a break clause in its Swansea lease in June. The firm is planning to move out of its current Swansea office into a smaller base by the end of the year and is currently looking at locations. 

Carr said the firm needed “a reduced support headcount” to deal with work following the insurance divestment and that the smaller team were to move to another Swansea base. It is currently home to four partners as well as four associates and six lawyers.

The tie up with Blake Lapthorn will give the combined firms 900 staff including 120 partners. It will be led by Blake Lapthorn managing partner Walter Cha, who oversaw four mergers at his firm since 2001.