Blake Morgan celebrates success in Legal 500

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Lawyers at south coast firm Blake Morgan are celebrating being named as among the best in their field in the prestigious Legal 500 directory.

The 2014 directory, published today (Wednesday, October 8), reviews the strengths of lawyers across the UK and makes recommendations based on how they are seen by clients and their peers.

Six partners from the firm’s Portsmouth and Southampton offices were named as “leading individuals” and more than 30 of its solicitors in the region were recommended by the directory.

The listings cover the year from November 2013, prior to the formation of Blake Morgan by the merger of the law firms Morgan Cole and Blake Lapthorn in July 2014.

The six leading individuals named are: Max Craft, head of the Employment, Pensions and Immigration group, for Employment, Ben Graham Evans in the Aviation sector; John Hamilton for Pensions; Stephen Murfitt for Commercial Litigation and Kath Shimmin for Banking and Finance.

Among the Blake Morgan lawyers recommended by the Legal 500, several who work across Southampton and Portsmouth are singled out for individual praise.

Among them are Dan Geddes, senior associate in insolvency and corporate recovery, described as “diligent and smart” and senior associate Ian Robino, who specialises in IT and telecoms and is described as someone who “knows the commercial context inside out”.

Partner Mary Chant is recommended for her work in EU and competition law and the corporate and commercial sector and is described as giving “clear, concise advice which is to the point and commercial”.

Corporate and commercial partner James Hawkeswood is described as “particularly good, commercially aware and very responsive” and partner Manoj Styche-Patel, divisional director of commercial services, “attracts considerable praise from clients”.

Simon Burge, who leads Blake Morgan’s south coast family team, is described as being “excellent in every respect” and praised for leading a “brilliant” team.

In total Blake Morgan, which has offices in Cardiff, London, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton and Swansea, is in the directory’s top tier in 42 practice areas, recommended in 49, has 20 lawyers named as leading individuals and has 144 recommended lawyers.

On the merger which created Blake Morgan, the directory noted: “The combination of Blake Lapthorn’s expertise in areas such as aviation and construction with Morgan Cole’s legacy strength in big-ticket commercial work for the public sector makes for a unique new challenger in the market.”

Walter Cha, Blake Morgan’s Managing Partner, said: “We set ourselves the highest possible standards in all we do and we are delighted that this has been recognised by our clients and peers, whose feedback has ensured that Blake Morgan features strongly in the 2014 Legal 500.”