Morgan Cole snaps up insurance panel colleague CIP Solicitors

Thames Valley firm ­Morgan Cole has taken over Bristol-based insurance boutique CIP Solicitors, which has four partners and 75 staff.

The acquisition will strengthen Morgan Cole’s insurance capacity to around 30 per cent of the firm’s turnover and quadruple the size of its Bristol office.

CIP partner Richard ­Ottley said: “Our clients are predominantly insurers [but] they also want to work with us on ­different types of work. We’re broadening our skills base. There’s quite a bit of consolidation going on and insurers are going for ­smaller panels.”

He added that both ­Morgan Cole and CIP are on the panels of the insurers Axa and NFU Mutual.

Morgan Cole and CIP’s combined headcount will be around 570 staff, with 57 partners. Morgan Cole ­commercial director Tim Pashley said the combined firm would be budgeting for a turnover of between £36m and £37m in 2009-10.

In 2007-08 Morgan Cole billed fees of £32.1m, with offices in Bristol, Reading, Oxford, ;Cardiff ;and Swansea.