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26 July 1999
management to axe up to15 of thier number.The restructuring proposals of the Cardiff-based firm were first revealedby The Lawyer on 12 July following the leak ofa discussion document drawnup by senior management.The partnership cull representsnearly 15 per cent of the existing 104partners of the newly merged firm made up of Cole& Cole, Morgan Bruce andFishburn Boxer.Job losses are also expected in supportdepartments. The discussiondocument says: "A number of comments have been made to usabout theperformance of the various support functions and the need forimprovement."There are a few senior hires planned or under way but the aim overthemedium to longer term is to have fewer but better qualified people in eachof thefunctions."Morgan Cole issued a statement saying the proposals have been acceptedbypartners at a full partnership meeting on 20 July. Those partners who wereunable toattend the meeting voted by proxy.The full statement reads: "At a meeting held yesterday[20 July] adiscussion paper dealing with a number of issues including somereorganisationof the firm has been accepted by the partners of MorganCole."As part of therestructuring process, the senior management team willhold talks with some partnersregarding their position within the firm andthe appropriate support will be offered tothose who retire frompartnership."Due to the commercially sensitive nature of theproposals, Morgan Cole isunable to disclose any further information..."According to thediscussion document, the firm hopes to persuade thepartners it wishes to shed to takeretirement. Under the firm's currentrule, only three partners per year can be forcedout.The document says if not enough partners voluntarily retire, the ruleswill bechanged to increase the number of compulsory retirements permitted.According to thediscussion document, the firm states its intention toconcentrate on the constructionindustry, employment, energy industry andinsurance industry sectors. Partners are morelikely to be saved from thecull in those sectors.The measures are designed to increaseprofitability by u9,000 to u124,000per partner.Morgan Cole is strengthening its energypractice. The firm recently took on Andrew Campbell from Simmons & Simmons weeks afterthe recruitment of Geoff Hewitt, former head of legal at Saga Petroleum.Campbell, aformer head of energy at Simmons & Simmons, left the firmafter practising there for 27years.
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