Profit plummets by 42 per cent at Morgan Cole

The top of equity has plummeted from £278,000 to £162,000 at Morgan Cole with the top earner taking home 40 per cent less than last year, according to the firm’s latest LLP accounts.

The partner with the lowest stake in the equity also saw their profit share dive from £206,000 to £135,000 in 2012/13, a 35 per cent drop.

Net profit went from £10.1m in 2012 to £6.9m in 2013 and revenue dipped by 8 per cent, from £36.6m in 2012 to £33.7m.

Morgan Cole charged £2.4m of profit – up marginally from £2.3m in 2011/12 – as members’ remuneration, with £4.6m left for discretionary distribution between its 52 LLP members, down from £7.9m the previous year.

The Cardiff-headquartered firm put its 32 per cent drop in profit down to a one-off property charge of £831,500 which has now been resolved. 

But it has also raided its cash reserves recently, leaving just over 10 per cent of the amount it had last year – a drop from £1.7m to £193,642. Bank loans reduced from £566,000 in 2011/12 to £448,000 in 2012/13. The bulk of this, £420,000, is repayable within a year or on demand.

In November Morgan Cole began looking at a three-way merger with Blake Lapthorn and Boyes Turner which would create a new top 40 UK firm with revenues closing in on £100m (28 November 2013). Morgan Cole has also expanded through merger in the past, in 2009 bolting on Bristol insurance boutique CIP Solicitors (5 January 2009) and later that year taking on a team from Tayntons in Gloucester.

It also offloaded its claims group to DAC Beachcroft and Berrymans Lace Mawer (BLM) earlier in November. It transferred its Bristol-based volume claims and catastrophic insturance teams, including five partners to DAC Beachcroft while BLM picked up partner and seven staff from the firm (15 November 2013).