Morgan Cole

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Morgan Cole LLP
Morgan Cole Logo
Headquarters Cardiff, United Kingdom
No. of offices 6[1]
No. of lawyers Approx. 340[2]
No. of employees Approx. 530[2]
Major practice areas Full-service
Key people Bruce Potter(Chairman)
Elizabeth Carr (Managing Partner)
Catharine Bray (Finance Director)
Michael Prior(Commercial Director)
Jeff Wright (IM&T Director)[3]
Revenue £36 million (2009/10)[2]
Company type Limited Liability Partnership

Morgan Cole LLP (now known as Blake Morgan following a merger with Blake Lapthorn) is a large full-service commercial law firm with offices in Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol, Reading and Oxford in the United Kingdom. It is ranked 70th in the UK's top 200 law firms.[4] It employs approximately 340 lawyers and 200 other staff. It has 52 partners. It is registered with the Law Society of England and Wales.[5]

A number of practice areas deliver advice to clients in the public, private and insurance sectors. The firm specialises in advice to clients in the health & social care, education, retail and energy sectors.

Main practice areas[edit]

Morgan Cole's main practice areas include:[6]

  • Banking and Finance
  • Business support and insolvency
  • Commercial
  • Commercial property
  • Competition
  • Construction
  • Corporate
  • Debt recovery
  • Dispute management
  • Education
  • Employment, pensions and benefits
  • Energy and environment
  • Equality
  • Family and Private Client
  • Health and Social Care
  • Housing associations
  • Insurance
  • IP/IT


Morgan Cole was formed by the merger of Morgan Bruce and Cole & Cole in 1998.[7]

Cole & Cole[edit]

Cole & Cole was formed in Oxford in 1945 by two brothers, Raymond Buxton Cole and Maurice Buxton Cole and quickly spread throughout Oxfordshire partly by the opening of new offices and partly by merger. In particular the Abingdon practice of Morland & Son was acquired in 1951 which traced its history back to 1784. Benjamin Morland who started work as a clerk in 1784 was a member of the Morland brewing family.

This acquisition was followed by the acquisition of Soanes & Co, in Burford in 1966 and the firm of Francis Wickins & Hill in Stow-on-the-Wold in 1982.

Most of the expansion of the firm resulted from sustained growth within Oxford which led to the opening of a dedicated commercial department in Kidlington in 1984, a specialist matrimonial, crown and magistrates court department in Cambridge Terrace, Oxford and a commercial and litigation office in Reading in 1987. In addition, a Croydon insurance litigation office opened in 1997.

At the time of the merger with Morgan Bruce, Cole & Cole was the pre-eminent firm in the Thames Valley with 35 partners and a staff of over 200. In addition to its strong commercial and private client bases, Cole & Cole had significant insurance, education, employment, licensing and health practices.

Clients included Oxford University, Amey plc, British Alcan, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, The Police Federation, Equal Opportunities Commission and Xerox to name but a few.

Cole & Cole had obtained a Legal Aid franchise and accreditation with ISO9001.[citation needed]

Morgan Bruce[edit]

Morgan Bruce grew by a series of five mergers from its initial opening in 1836. The first merger was in May 1987 when Morgan Bruce & Nicholas joined forces with Hardwickes.

Morgan Bruce & Nicholas

The firm of Morgan Bruce & Nicholas originated with Walter H Morgan who became a solicitor in 1875, established a practice in Pontypridd the following year and opened the premises which remained an office of the firm until 1995.

Walter Morgan (1853–1901) was prominent in public life becoming an Alderman, Under-Sheriff and a Vice-Chairman of Glamorgan County Council.

After a few years as Walter Morgan & Rhys the firm's name was changed to Walter Morgan, Bruce & Nicholas following the arrival of Gerald Bruce who qualified in 1893 and Walter Nicholas who qualified in 1894.

Sir Gerald Bruce (as he became) was a well-known figure in South Wales over decades and included in his many achievements chairmanship of Wales and Monmouthshire Industrial Estates Ltd, an organisation which contributed significantly to the economic recovery of Wales following the depression of the thirties. Sir Gerald was Lord Lieutenant of the County of Glamorgan from 1943 to 1952.

Sir Walter Nicholas also achieved eminence and was knighted for his services to local government administration. He was directly concerned with the promotion of local and private Acts of Parliament and served as a part-time Clerk of Rhondda Urban District Council. He made a significant contribution to the development of statute law relating to workmen's compensation.

During its long history the firm acquired a tradition (which continues today) of its partners combining public service with a private practice covering diverse areas of the law, including industrial estate development, charities, workmen's compensation, litigation and company and commercial work, as well as more conventional areas assisting ‘the man on the street’.

After further brief periods as Morgan, Bruce, Nicholas and James and Morgan, Bruce, Nicholas and Porcher the name Morgan, Bruce & Nicholas finally emerged shortly after the First World War and remained unchanged until merger. During the first 87 years of its existence the firm was centred in Pontypridd, but in 1963 a decision was taken to establish an office in Cardiff.


This firm started in Cardiff in 1910 and was a successful litigation firm acting for a number of insurance clients and the Solicitors Indemnity Fund. The merger created a firm with 23 partners.

Post-merger history[edit]

In February 2010 the firm transferred from a partnership to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).

January 2009 saw the merger with CIP Solicitors of Bristol and later than year the acquisition of the majority of the insurance team from rival firm Leo Abse and Cohen. This followed the acquisition in 2008 of Bristol-based insurance specialist CIP Solicitors and the transfer of a 10-strong team of Insurance specialists from Gloucester-based firm Tayntons.

Morgan Cole's offices in Swansea's SA1 development

The firm was awarded the Lexcel quality standard by the Law Society of England and Wales in December 2008.[citation needed]

A Bristol office opened in 2007.

In 2003, the firm moved into its new 24,000 sq ft (2,200 m2) offices in Swansea - the first private sector investment in the development at SA1 Swansea Waterfront. In the same year, Robin Havard became chairman of the firm and was re-elected for a third three-year term in 2009.

Bruce Potter chairs the firm's board, which comprises Elizabeth Carr (Managing Partner), Catharine Bray (Finance Director), Michael Prior (Commercial Director), and Michael Stace and Philip Jardine, both partners at the firm.


  1. ^ "Offices". Morgan Cole LLP. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Morgan Cole - UK 200 results 2010". The Lawyer. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Our management team". Morgan Cole LLP. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "The UK's top 100 law firms". The Lawyer. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "The firm's Law Society profile". The Law Society of England and Wales. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Our business areas". Morgan Cole LLP. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Blake Morgan - True Picture | Chambers Student Guide". Retrieved 7 March 2015. 

External links[edit]