Gateley's revenues grow with "robust" activity despite challenging market

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Gateley floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2015 (Source: Getty)

Gateley, London's first listed law firm, grew its revenues in the first half of the year as it brushed off initial public offerings launched by competitors and a challenging market.

The figures

The firm's revenue rose 9.8 per cent to £38.6m in the six months to the end of October, while profit before tax was flat at £4.2m following further investment through additional staff and service lines.

Gateley's total headcount increased by 6.4 per cent in the period to 763, including six new legal partner hires.

Shares in the company, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) rose 3.10 per cent to 174.75p in morning trading.

Read more: Tax times ahead for Gateley, in a good way

Why it's interesting

Gateley became the first law firm to float in London in 2015, but Gordon Dadds and Keystone Law this year joined the market as number two and three.

Despite the fresh competition, Gateley's chief executive Michael Ward told City AM the company still doesn't have a "true peer".

"The main difference is that we were a successful, growing, profitable business before we came to the market. Our floatation plan wasn't about the creation or recreation of anything - it was about putting the business in the right position to continue long-term profitable growth," Ward said.

"The broking community in London never misses an opportunity to tell us there's a queue of law firms ready to enter the market, but they've been saying that for the last two and a half years," he added.

The market remains challenging in the wake of the Brexit vote, but Ward said clients are continuing to invest in their businesses, driving revenues at Gateley.

The firm acquired tax incentives adviser Capitus and specialist property consultancy Hamer in 2016, and Ward said Gateley was "still looking hard" for its next acquisition.

Read more: Disruptive influence: Law firm Keystone reveals £50m float plans

What Gateley said

In the company's results statement, Ward said:

I am delighted with the performance of the business in the first half of the financial year. We have seen robust activity levels across the group.

Our new Global Mobility service line is our latest example of strategic investment which, alongside our existing clients and contacts, will enable us to capitalise on the opportunities which we expect to emerge in an environment of ongoing political and economic uncertainty.

Read more: Gordon Bennett! No, Gordon Dadds. London gets its second listed law firm

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