Leading Oxford law firms merge to create Blake Morgan

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Oxford’s Morgan Cole and Blake Lapthorn have joined forces under a new name in a merger which creates one of the UK’s top 50 law firms.

The two firms, both well-established in the region, are now known as Blake Morgan, which becomes the largest law firm in Oxford and a leading force across Oxfordshire, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire and the Thames Valley. Blake Morgan’s Oxford office will be located at Seacourt Tower.

Morgan Cole and Blake Lapthorn both have a rich heritage in the Oxford area. Morgan Cole traces its lineage through brothers Maurice and Raymond Buxton Cole, who established their Oxford office in 1945 – and to this day their descendants John and David Cole work for the firm. Blake Lapthorn merged with Linnells, a leading local firm for more than 90 years, in 2003.

Blake Morgan will build on its foundations in Oxford, particularly working with more entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses and growing its offering in education, where it has strong links with schools and academies, universities and Oxford Colleges, many leading charities and social housing providers.

Blake Morgan operates from seven locations – London, Oxford, Reading, Southampton, Portsmouth, Cardiff and Swansea.

Mike Wilson, regional senior partner at Blake Morgan, said: “We have a distinguished history of service for charities and not-for-profit organisations, SMEs and large businesses as well as private clients. Across the Thames Valley, local connections form a very important part of our mix – and both firms are embedded in Oxford's local business communities.

"The merger provides real opportunities to offer an enhanced breadth and depth of service. Blake Morgan is now one of the largest firms in the region, and we are immensely proud to be able to build on the heritage of the respective legacy firms. Together, we have leading lawyers in many fields of practice in the region.”

Walter Cha, formerly managing partner of Blake Lapthorn, becomes the managing partner of Blake Morgan.  Elizabeth Carr is the Chief Operating Officer, and the Co-Chairs will be Stephen Murfitt, formerly chairman of Blake Lapthorn, and Bruce Potter, formerly chairman of Morgan Cole.