Leading law firm Blake Morgan has appointed two new Partners, Karen Cooksley and Michael Colledge, as it grows both its Planning and Commercial Litigation teams.
Karen Cooksley joins the firm this month as Blake Morgan’s new Head of Planning, leading the team from its London office. Michael Colledge is promoted from Legal Director, continuing his key role as senior member of the Commercial Litigation team in Southampton.
Karen brings a wealth of experience to Blake Morgan and its Planning team, having specialised as a planning lawyer for more than 30 years. She was previously Partner and Head of Planning at both Field Fisher Waterhouse and Winckworth Sherwood. Prior to this, Karen was a Partner and Head of Regeneration and Housing at Bevan Brittan, a Partner at Pinsent Masons. Over the course of her career, Karen has developed a strong reputation for the delivery of major projects and strategic thinking to further regeneration – achieving a significant profile in the development sector.
Michael has spent almost 20 years building his reputation and expertise in commercial litigation, and joined Blake Morgan from Russell-Cooke in 2018. His knowledge and experience spans litigation, dispute resolution and arbitration, working on cases involving significant claims in the High Court as well as cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. In particular, Michael has developed expert knowledge in professional negligence, IT disputes, insurance law, judicial review and procurement.
These appointments underline the growing strength of Blake Morgan’s Planning and Commercial Litigation practices, and Karen and Michael will play crucial roles in the expansion of the team’s reach in London, Southampton, and the wider South and South East regions.
Richard Wade, Partner and Head of the Construction Group at Blake Morgan, said:
Karen's arrival is a significant step forward in our strategy to grow the Planning team and I believe that her skills and experience will considerably enhance our reputation in this specialist market. The potential to grow our planning and environmental expertise, especially given the likely future market trends, is substantial, and having someone like Karen spearheading our efforts is hugely exciting both for the team and for other parts of the firm with which she will be working.
Jill Bainbridge, Partner and Head of the Intellectual Property Group at Blake Morgan, said: “Michael’s promotion to Partner is very well deserved, and a recognition of the high regard in which he is held by Blake Morgan and our clients. He is a trusted advisor and colleague who has led the resolution of many of the most complex contractual and commercial disputes the team have dealt with. I am certain that this next step will see him further grow his expertise, the high quality of the team, and the advice and support they deliver for clients.”