Morgan Cole partners battle it out for top job

Senior Morgan Cole partners are in the midst of an election campaign for the position of chairman of the recently-merged firm.

Since chairman John Bowen stepped down in March, the position has been held jointly by Guy Clarke and John Moisson – partners of the firms which merged to create Morgan Cole.

An inside source at the Cardiff-based firm says that candidates have been campaigning intensely for the position.

Both Clarke, former managing partner of Morgan Bruce, and Moisson – from the old Cole & Cole – are understood to be among the candidates for the position.

But a Morgan Cole spokeswoman refuses to confirm who is in the running.

The election comes at a sensitive time for the firm. Morgan Cole partners voted in the summer to shed 15 partners to improve profitability, as revealed in The Lawyer (26 July).

But David Main, Morgan Cole's chief executive, says the leadership race, which has been brought forward by several months, is not connected to the proposed lay-offs. The redundancies are expected to be announced later this month.

Main says: “Following the merger between Morgan Bruce and Cole & Cole and the more recent merger with Fishburn Boxer, Morgan Cole is currently holding elections for the chairmanship of the newly-created firm.

“Going into the first merger, each firm had its own chairman but it was always envisaged that a single chairman would be elected after a transitional period.

“In view of the success of the merger to date, it has been possible to advance the appointment of a single chairman.”

It is not known whether any Fishburn Boxer partners are in the running. The London insurance litigation firm merged with Morgan Cole in June.

At present Main is not willing to discuss the candidates who are in the running for the post.

He says: “We are not prepared to give the names of candidates, but we are confident that whoever is elected will take the firm forward successfully.”