Acquisition number 13 for listed law firm pioneer Gateley

Waldie: Acquisitive and organic growth plan 

Pioneering listed law firm Gateley has acquired its second firm of chartered patent attorneys this year with a £2.5m deal to buy Symbiosis IP Ltd.

It is the 13th acquisition – 10 of which were non-legal services businesses – since Gateley became the first law firm to list in June 2015.

Symbiosis, which specialises in intellectual property services for the life sciences industry, joins trade mark and patent attorneys Adamson Jones, which Gateley announced it was buying, also for £2.5m, in January.

Founded in 2008 by directors Julie Myint and Rob Docherty, Symbiosis delivered revenue of £1.8m, with corporatised profit before tax of £300,000 for the year ended 31 March 2022. It has offices in York, Leeds, Cardiff and Evesham in Worcestershire. Gateley is paying £1.5m in cash and £1m in shares

Gateley told investors that the deal “further enhances the development of complementary business services with an IP and brands focus”.

It explained: “The group aims to build an industry relevant patent and trade mark attorney offering via a mix of acquisitive and organic growth, and by adding new patent specialisms and geographical areas.”

Chief executive Rod Waldie added: “This strategic acquisition will extend the reach of our offering in IP, patents and trade mark work across our consultancy and legal services teams who operate in this field.

“The acquisition of Symbiosis forms part of an acquisitive and organic growth plan that builds on the expertise we have in the intangible assets market and where we believe there is potential for further development.”

This is Gateley’s third acquisition of 2022, with the £20m deal to buy chartered surveyors Smithers Purslow in April its largest since listing.

Mr Waldie will be speaking at next month’s Legal Futures Innovation Conference on building a multi-disciplinary practice. The early bird price for tickets is still available.

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