Higgs Fletcher & Mack names Rancho Santa Fe resident Steven J. Cologne Managing Partner


Higgs Fletcher & Mack, a San Diego-based, full-service law firm for more than 75 years, announced recently that long-time executive team member and Rancho Santa Fe resident Steven J. Cologne became Managing Partner on March 31.

He will succeed John Morrell, who held the position for 20 years, as he transitions to become President of the Douglas Wilson Companies, a multi-disciplined real estate firm.

Morrell will also continue his affiliation with the Higgs firm on a number of special projects as its Chairman Emeritus, the first ever to serve in this position.

“The partners could not have chosen a better successor,” said Morrell. “I’ve known Steve since our law school days and consider it a privilege to have called him a partner for the past 17 years. He’s a proven leader and dedicated attorney who cares about the clients he serves and the people with whom he works. We’ve been planning this transition for several months, and I’m excited for the new direction Steve will take Higgs Fletcher & Mack."

As an attorney for over 30 years, Cologne began representing individuals and entities in construction defect and medical professional liability litigation. His practice grew rapidly to becoming the primary outside litigation counsel for San Diego Unified School District on a variety of claims in State and Federal court, a position he still holds today. Cologne has received the highest rating (A-V) available from Martindale-Hubbell for ethics and legal ability.

Cologne is also a member of a number of professional organizations, including the State Bar of California Labor and Employment Law section, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, and Tort and Insurance Practice section. He is a past Executive Editor of San Diego Lawyer, the quarterly journal of the San Diego County Bar Association, and served as a board member of the San Diego County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bar. In addition, Cologne is proud to be counsel for The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, the top regional theater in the country. He also serves on the University of San Diego School of Law Board of Visitors for his alma mater.

Cologne joined Higgs Fletcher & Mack in 1999 and has been part of the executive team since then. He previously enjoyed 15 years as an associate, partner and shareholder with the law firm of McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees & Sharkey, then San Diego’s premier litigation firm.

“I am honored to be named to this position and have some exceptionally big shoes to fill,” said Cologne. “John not only spearheaded the tremendous growth of the firm, nearly doubling our size since taking over as Managing Partner in 1997, but also championed many of our initiatives toward diversity and community involvement. We’ll continue to build upon this solid foundation as we refine our internal operations in the coming weeks. This will enhance our already significant presence with current clients while also enabling the firm to expand into new markets. All the while, we’ll look forward to celebrating all of John’s achievements at the Douglas Wilson Companies!”

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