Morgan Cole restructure gives greenlight to shed 15 partners

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 of

a discussion document drawnup by senior management.The partnership cull represents

nearly 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 support

departments. The discussiondocument says: “A number of comments have been made to us

about theperformance of the various support functions and the need for

improvement.”There are a few senior hires planned or under way but the aim over

themedium to longer term is to have fewer but better qualified people in eachof the

functions.”Morgan Cole issued a statement saying the proposals have been accepted

bypartners at a full partnership meeting on 20 July. Those partners who wereunable to

attend 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 somereorganisation

of the firm has been accepted by the partners of MorganCole.”As part of the

restructuring process, the senior management team willhold talks with some partners

regarding their position within the firm andthe appropriate support will be offered to

those who retire frompartnership.”Due to the commercially sensitive nature of the

proposals, Morgan Cole isunable to disclose any further information…”According to the

discussion document, the firm hopes to persuade thepartners it wishes to shed to take

retirement. Under the firm's currentrule, only three partners per year can be forced

out.The document says if not enough partners voluntarily retire, the ruleswill be

changed to increase the number of compulsory retirements permitted.According to the

discussion document, the firm states its intention toconcentrate on the construction

industry, employment, energy industry andinsurance industry sectors. Partners are more

likely to be saved from thecull in those sectors.The measures are designed to increase

profitability by u9,000 to u124,000per partner.Morgan Cole is strengthening its energy

practice. The firm recently took on Andrew Campbell from Simmons & Simmons weeks after

the recruitment of Geoff Hewitt, former head of legal at Saga Petroleum.Campbell, a

former head of energy at Simmons & Simmons, left the firmafter practising there for 27