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Gateley Plc

ONE ELEVEN, EDMUND STREET, BIRMINGHAM, B3 2HJ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0121 234 0000
Fax:
Fax 0121 234 0001
DX:
13033 BIRMINGHAM-1
Email:
Web:
www.gateleyplc.com

West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham
Corporate and commercial: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc’s ‘strength in the local market’ ensures that the team handles a high volume of transactions in the West Midlands region; recent examples include Simon Gill acting for the shareholders of the ultimate parent company of LG Harris in the sale of the company to Orkla, and Chris Reed advising Roxhill Developments Group on its strategic joint venture with Segro. Mid-market private equity is a particular area of expertise, with recent highlights including Gill advising Palatine on its £65m investment in Westleigh, and Reed assisting the management team of Wavenet with the £35m buyout of the company by Beech Tree. In another private equity-related deal, national corporate head Tom Durrant represented the shareholders of Callstream Group on the disposal of their equity interests to J2 Global. The team’s versatility extends to capital markets, where Paul Cliff and senior associate Tom Rush advised Franchise Brands on its £16m admission to AIM by way of flotation, and also represented Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in its role as nominated adviser on the IPO of Autins Group. CEO Michael Ward is highly recommended.

Leading individuals

Michael Ward - Gateley Plc

Next generation lawyers

Tom Rush - Gateley Plc

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

At Gateley Plc, head of practice James Gopsill specialises in the taxation of real estate investment, real estate development and urban regeneration; recent highlights for Gopsill include advising on the tax aspects of Mountpark USAA’s acquisition of a development site at Manchester City Airport, and also providing tax advice to Taylor Wimpey and Redrow in relation to the development of 1,450 new homes together with a primary school, commercial area and health centre at Wrexham Road Chester. On the corporate tax side, ‘very practical’ senior associate Martin Jahreiss focuses on company tax planning, corporate acquisitions and disposals, reconstructions, MBOs and MBIs. In 2016, Jahreiss advised on a number of private equity transactions, including acting for the management team of Wavenet in the £35m MBO backed by Beech Tree Private Equity, and representing Palatine Private Equity in its investment in Westleigh. The team also has experience in handling share-based employee incentivisation.

Next generation lawyers

Martin Jahreiss - Gateley Plc

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West Midlands: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Ruth Armstrong heads the regulatory practice at Gateley Plc and leads the firm’s fraud work; she has particular strength in the construction, banking, manufacturing and transportation sectors and is assisted by Mark Wilson, who heads the firm’s corporate recovery team. The firm recently acted for a construction business and its managing director in an HMRC investigation into payroll fraud, while James Baird acted for a banking client in an asset finance fraud case involving false invoicing, customer application, title, and employee fraud. Wilson represented an insolvent insurer in connection with negligence and dishonest assistance claims. Clients include Grant Thornton, Ernst & Young, and Henry Howard.

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Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 3

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

At Gateley Plc, regulatory practice head Ruth Armstrong handles criminal work on behalf of businesses and senior executives, primarily involving criminal investigations and major incidents. With the support of legal director Pauline Munro and defence solicitor Kate Oliver, Armstrong acted in a prosecution involving ten defendants following an investigation by the Environment Agency alleging illegal waste disposal and successfully limited the responsibility of the accused director. She also defended a housing client with regards to alleged breaches of local authority planning regulations. Other key matters for the team included acting for a high-street retailer in a high-profile trading standards prosecution involving allegations of mislabelled specialised yarn in cashmere products. Notable clients include Taylor Wimpey, Greenbox and Bilfinger.

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation
Banking litigation - ranked: tier 3

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

In 2016, Gateley Plc reported an increase in disputes touching on the regulatory aspects of banking litigation. The team is led by James Baird, who has particular expertise in title cases and focuses on areas such as fraud, cross-border recoveries, quality disputes, and consumer credit litigation. Baird’s recent work included representing lenders in relation to asset finance frauds, defaulted regulated loan agreements, and claims for satisfactory quality and loss of profits arising from disputed hire agreements. Aldermore Bank, Macquarie Equipment Finance UK and Bank of Scotland are all clients of the practice.

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Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc’s practice is ‘very professional and thorough in their approach to the work and able to add a realistic commercial edge to advice and guidance for the duration of the case’. The team had a number of good results in 2016 and, in one example, senior associate Karen Levesley successfully defended the former owners of Covpress International Holdings in a claim brought by Shandong Yongtai Group relating to the alleged breach of warranties in a share purchase agreement. Levesley also secured summary judgment against Shandong in a claim for deferred consideration payable under the terms of a share purchase agreement. Practice head Stephen Goodrham handles a wide caseload, including representing employers in breach of confidentiality allegations with former employees, and acting on restrictive covenant disputes and professional negligence claims. Other names to note are senior associate Neil Warner, who regularly advises corporate and sports clients on contentious issues and is ‘very tenacious but also has a firm eye on the commercial realities of a case’; and solicitor Kate Canning, who shows ‘attention to detail and the ability to wade through a large amount of information’.

Leading individuals

Stephen Goodrham - Gateley Plc

Next generation lawyers

Neil Warner - Gateley Plc

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc’s practice focuses on recovery work for clients in the asset finance and leasing sector, and regularly advises in relation to motor and truck finance, the leasing of yellow plant and agricultural machinery, and office equipment and telephony. The team is also experienced in unsecured lending and real estate secured lending, and acts for clients in the secondary debt buyers’ market. Head of practice James Baird has particular expertise in title investigations and fraud cases and has been busy on a number of multi-jurisdictional and cross-border asset recovery matters for clients such as Arkle Finance and Shawbrook Bank. Baird is also advising on litigation arising from a billion-dollar debt purchase.

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West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc’s broad practice takes in private equity and acquisition finance, real estate finance, asset-based lending and consumer credit. Head of practice Andrew Madden has particular expertise in leveraged and corporate finance deals and, in one highlight, advised a syndicate of international insurers on the provision of £300m of insurance bonds to support the UK pension scheme of an international trading group. Madden also handled a number of MBO financings, including acting for Santander in connection with financing the MBO of Panther Warehousing. Carol Betts leads on real estate finance and asset-based lending, and acts for clients such as ABN Amro Commercial Finance and Santander Invoice Finance. Betts is particularly commended for her ‘knowledge and commerciality in the real estate sector’. James Dyson moved to Freeths LLP.

Leading individuals

Andrew Madden - Gateley Plc

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc is a favourite with clients such as Santander and BDO and is hailed for its ‘team approach and willingness to work on matters where the fees are particularly at risk’. On the contentious side, practice head Mark Wilson, who has ‘developed into one of the best lawyers in the sector’, has particular expertise in high-value director and officeholder duty, misfeasance and complex fraud cases; Wilson successfully acted for Grant Thornton in an application for summary judgment/interim payment against former directors of Angelmist, in relation to losses arising from the offshore transfer of a London commercial property valued at £190m. Daniel French leads on non-contentious mandates and is recognised as ‘an excellent restructuring partner with a good breadth of experience, who is very well thought of in the marketplace’. French acted for KPMG as administrators of Trod in relation to the sale of certain assets of the business to two separate trade buyers, and also represented Laidlaw (UK) and Intrinsic Equity on the acquisition of Leaderflush Shapland (in administration) and Interiors Manufacturing (in administration). The substantial team includes newly promoted senior associate Louise Gill, who is ‘detailed and confident’.

Leading individuals

Daniel French - Gateley Plc

Mark Wilson - Gateley Plc

Next generation lawyers

Louise Gill - Gateley Plc

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West Midlands: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc’s clients ‘recommend the firm unhesitatingly’, singling out its ‘combination of top-drawer service levels and competitive rates’. Employment team head Benedict Gorner provides advice on a wide array of contentious and non-contentious issues, with particular emphasis on disputes involving restrictive covenants and senior executives. Victoria Garrad, whose ‘excellence in the employment field is complemented by a keen sense of the commercial context’, acted alongside Gorner on behalf of a client in the IT sector on the enforcement of restrictive covenants against a number of former employees. Senior associate Merran Sewell, who is described as ‘a first-rate employment lawyer with a sound tactical approach’, led the team acting for a trust in an investigation into allegations brought against a senior executive in a whistleblowing letter. Sewell also represented a new client in two employment tribunal cases relating to alleged unfair dismissal and non-compliance with the national living wage. In another highlight, ‘outstanding, very responsive and helpful’ senior associate Elaine Huttley acted for longstanding retail client The Works on two disability discrimination cases filed by employees suffering from type 2 diabetes who refused to transfer to alternative stores. On the non-contentious side, Huttley drafted bespoke policies for a new client in relation to their compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2016, and assisted with the global realignment and harmonisation of its internal employee grading system.

Leading individuals

Victoria Garrad - Gateley Plc

Next generation lawyers

Merran Sewell - Gateley Plc

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Ruth Armstrong heads Gateley Plc’s regulatory department, which includes commercial expert Pauline Munro and experienced criminal lawyer Kate Oliver. The practice handles a vast array of health and safety issues for clients in the manufacturing, retail, waste management, construction and transport sectors. Armstrong acted for a leading broadcaster with regards to the health and safety implications of several high-profile reality television shows. The team also advised a demolition company and its managing director issues arising from a building collapse in which four men died. Other notable work included representing Drawn Metal in a corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigation by the HSE following the death of a lawyer at a construction site in London, and assisted a commercial client with regards to concerns of asbestos exposure to maintenance and non-employees. Other notable clients include Taylor Wimpey, ACE, HTI and Bilfinger.

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Michael Collins heads Gateley Plc’s pensions department in Birmingham and is ‘an excellent ambassador’ on pensions matters. He is supported by Kate Lloyd, who advised a client with regards to an application for rectification by summary judgement of a rule amendment which had made a member’s period of pensionable service subject to the LPI rate of increase. Other highlights included acting for the trustees of Hill & Smith’s two defined benefit schemes on their merger; Collins and solicitor Paul Wild acted on that matter, while Collins and associate Jill Walters acted for the trustees of Chamberlin’s pension scheme on contingency assets to be put in place as additional protection and to reduce its PPF levy, which involved close co-operation with the firm’s property and banking practices. The University of Leicester, Nufarm and AS Watson are also clients.

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West Midlands: Private client

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

At Gateley Plc, tax specialist and practice head Catriona Attride acts as a trustee and deputy on several high-value settlements, and has developed strong expertise in UK-to-US cross-border transactions. The team recently advised a lottery winner who established trusts and entrusted them to Attride. Alexia Haines supported Attride with regards to a longstanding lifetime interest trust including assets in Canada. Solicitor Hannah Turner assisted a successful business executive who relocated abroad in connection with establishing trusts in the US. Since publication, Fiona Debney has joined from Clarke Willmott LLP.

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West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc’s practice is best known for its strong housebuilder following, and the team remained highly active in the residential space for the likes of Bellway and Persimmon Homes. Highly regarded practice co-head Callum Nuttall acted for Bloor Homes in a 4,115-home development at North West Cheltenham, and also represented Taylor Wimpey and Redrow in the development of 1,450 new homes together with a primary school, commercial area and health centre at Wrexham Road, Chester. The practice is jointly led by Rebecca Sherwin, who has a particular focus on residential development finance and the finance of investment portfolios, and in one example of work advised HSBC on facilities secured over eight shopping centres valued, in aggregate, at £25m. On the investment side, Richard Pettifor handled a number of international mandates, including assisting Mountpark/USAA with the £40m acquisition of a development site at Manchester City Airport; and James Madill advised Aldgate Property on the conditional long leasehold purchase and simultaneous conditional pre-let of new build independent cinema premises and two restaurant units in Central London. The practice expanded via the promotion to the partnership of Helen Roberts and Robert Thompson.

Leading individuals

Callum Nuttall - Gateley Plc

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc’s practice is probably best known for its expertise in the housebuilding sector, where litigator Peter Davies has ‘exceptional sector expertise, particularly relating to construction professional negligence claims’. Davies’ caseload included advising Opal (Earlsfield) on a professional negligence claim against Wardell Armstrong following the discovery of asbestos at the site, and representing CALA in defending two adjudications brought by RM Contractors, and then challenging the adjudicator's decisions at the High Court. On the non-contentious side, David Lloyd Jones handles a wide ranging portfolio of work that takes in real estate, energy and infrastructure projects; Lloyd Jones’ recent highlights include acting for Jaguar Land Rover on the £165m redevelopment of its Gaydon site, and assisting Laing O'Rourke Infrastructure and VolkerRail on the negotiation of a deed of variation to construct a new 6.5km metro line to the Trafford Centre. Another name to note is senior associate Amira Khan, who handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates and is advising Barberry Developments on procurement issues relating to its plan to develop a 1,116-room student accommodation and shopping complex at a city centre site at Bishop Gate, Coventry.

Next generation lawyers

Amira Khan - Gateley Plc

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc’s ‘extremely professional, efficient and reliant team’ continued to be busy on planning matters for housebuilders such as BDW Trading, Bloor Homes and Taylor Wimpey. In one example of work, senior associate Matthew Scudamore is acting for Keepmoat Homes on an s106 agreement for a brownfield site in Leeds. Besides handling Town and Country Planning Act agreements, Scudamore also has expertise in advising on town and village green matters, rights of way, highways and compulsory purchase matters, and he successfully acted for Richborough Estates in defending a multiple rights of way claim from local residents affecting a proposed development site. The practice was afforded further depth by the hire of assistant solicitor Melissa Huree from Shakespeare Martineau LLP. Manchester-based Andrew Piatt leads the team.

Next generation lawyers

Matthew Scudamore - Gateley Plc

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc’s ‘very strong practice undertakes property litigation for a number of the major national and regional housebuilders and land developers’. Peter Davies, who is ‘an absolutely top-class litigator, who combines a wealth of technical knowledge and experience in the field with giving commercially realistic advice’, continued to serve a stable of housebuilders on disputes ranging from breaches of land agreements to professional negligence claims. Iain Davies, who heads the team with Peter Davies, specialises in commercial landlord and tenant disputes; Iain Davies’ caseload included representing Bakkavor Foods as under-tenant in an application for relief against forfeiture, following the insolvency of the head tenant, and advising MP Newlands on a lease renewal dispute with Cable and Wireless UK. Another name to note is senior associate Philip Scully, who is ‘very reliable and developing a strong reputation in the field’; Scully advised Jet2.com on its dilapidations liability in respect of a hangar demised to it.

Next generation lawyers

Philip Scully - Gateley Plc

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Further information on Gateley Plc

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East Midlands

Offices in Nottingham and Leicester

London

Offices in London

North West

Offices in Manchester

South East

Offices in Reading

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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