Gateley posts strong results and “is already seeing benefits of listing”

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By Legal Futures

15 September 2015

Ward: clients began to feel cautiously optimistic about the future

Ward: clients began to feel cautiously optimistic about the future

Improving market conditions saw Gateley record revenue growth of 11.5% and profits up 32% in its last financial year, the listed law firm told the stock exchange today.

Becoming a public company is helping to differentiate the firm, improve its profile and aid recruitment, it also told investors.

In the year to 30 April 2015 – five weeks before the firm listed – Gateley saw revenue reach £61m and profits £9.8m.

The detailed financial breakdowns that come with being listed showed that the property division generated the most revenue (£20m), followed by banking and financial services (£12.3m), corporate (£10m), business services (£8.9m), and employee pensions and benefits (£7.1m).

CEO Michael Ward said the firm benefitted “throughout the year from improving market conditions”.

He said: “Clients began to feel cautiously optimistic about the future and therefore sought our services to implement and aid their growth plans.

“Revenues from banking and financial services were up by 12.8% on the previous year, driven by an increasing number of banking transactions taking place and notable successes in recovering monies obtained through fraudulent or deceitful transactions.

“Corporate deal flow increased in the year and revenues from this division improved by 14.1% over 2014. The property division increased its revenues by 16.1% due to improvements in the marketplace for both commercial and residential property development.”

The corporate team advised on more than 250 corporate deals with an aggregate value in excess of £1.5bn, while the residential development team achieved its goal of acting for all of the top 10 house builders in the UK.

Staff costs rose 10% to £36m on the back of recruitment to service an expanding client base and broaden geographical coverage.

Chairman Nigel Payne said: “In an evolving and still challenging legal marketplace, the group has delivered a pleasing set of results for the year ended 30 April 2015 which provide a solid platform for the business as we embark upon delivering on our goals and objectives as a PLC.

“The board is focused on ensuring that Gateley is ideally positioned to maximise the opportunities from the changing marketplace in which we operate as well as from our new and more flexible PLC status.

“The growth strategy of the group is based on three key pillars, which we outlined to investors at the time of the IPO. These are to, Differentiate (through our PLC status, comprehensive service offering and service ethic), where sensible Diversify (through additional complementary non-legal businesses and acquiring legal firms or teams offering sector specialism or geographic expansion), and, very importantly, Incentivise (offering wider and earlier equity to staff).

“These results, together with the successful IPO and the solid start the business has made in its journey from LLP to PLC has without doubt helped raise our profile, differentiate us from our direct competitors and attract quality staff who are interested in benefiting from the opportunities provided by a structure which is far better suited to the legal landscape of today in what is an improving but nonetheless still challenging market.

“As such, the board looks forward to its first year as a PLC with confidence.”

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