Former Morgan Bruce business services partner Alun Cole and head of planning and environmental Julian Boswell are both set to join the Cardiff office of the national firm. Boswell joins later this month, although a start date for Cole has not yet been agreed on.
Cole (no relation to the founding partners of Cole & Cole) is believed to have been particularly close to former partners Jeff Jenkins and Duncan MacIntosh, who have just departed for Clark Holt and Palser Grossman respectively, as reported by The Lawyer (8 December).
Sources close to the firm said they made up part of the core legacy Cardiff partners, who are now beginning to follow in the footsteps of their defecting colleagues from London, Swansea and the Thames Valley.
Cole, one of the bigger billers, has previously advised the National Assembly for Wales, BP and the Welsh Development Agency. He has specialised in public sector work including procurement, personal injury and public-private partnerships. Before joining Morgan Bruce 14 years ago, he was a legal adviser in the Government Legal Service.
Boswell joined as a senior associate from Clifford Chance in 1998 and has particular expertise in energy projects.
Plummeting profits and management troubles have plagued Morgan Cole since its merger five years ago. The Cardiff defections come hard on the heels of fallout at the London office in the latter months of 2003. Five partners exited the Fleet St offices in the second half of the year, with head of client services Bleddyn Rees going on secondment to the NHS. That leaves just five partners at the London office.