GA Solicitors > Plymouth, England > Firm Profile

GA Solicitors

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

Primarily acting for employers, GA Solicitors provides advice on TUPE transfers, HR matters and tribunal cases. The team is known for advising GP practices in Cornwall and Devon and has expanded its local commercial client base. Robert Zacal, who leads the Plymouth based team, has focused his practice on providing support on redundancies, furlough and other Covid-19 related matters.

Practice head(s):

Rob Zacal

Key clients

The PH Group Limited

Brittany Ferries (BAI (UK) Limited)

The Angel Foundation (God TV)

Morris Engineering Limited

Wolseley Community and Economic Development Trust

Peninsula Finance PLC

Lapmaster Wolters Limited

Wycliffe Surgery

Goodmans Financial Planners Limited

Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants

Real estate > Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

GA Solicitors handles landlord and tenant matters; developments; acquisitions, sales and investments; leasehold enfranchisement; and licensing work. The team, which stands out for its 'excellent communication', has experience in the healthcare and renewable energy sectors. Team head David Stone has more than 25 years of experience. Lucy Foster is well versed in secured lending matters.

Practice head(s):

David Stone

Other key lawyers:


‘Practical legal advice in the commercial team for a national lender, excellent communication and high level of experience in wide range of property law’

‘Excellent communication.’

‘Well-run firm with a diverse team who can assist with most legal issues.’

Key clients

Gerrick Rose Animal Trust

Peninsula Finance Plc

The Cary Estate

Harrier LLC

Arbuthnot Commercial Banking

National Westminster Bank plc

Newton Abbot Races Limited

Michael Spiers (Jewellers) Limited

Barclays Bank plc

ERS Transition Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Data Intensity Limited in relation to the grant of a sublease of a London EC1 office building.
  • Acting for the lender Peninsula Finance Plc in connection with a loan facility to a property development company for the redevelopment of an office block.
  • Acting for Trustees of Purple Dot Limited Directors Pension Scheme on the purchase of Seaton Beach Café subject to an occupational lease and dealing with various issues arising regarding lack of access of rights and deficiencies in the form of occupational lease.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; claimant Tier 4

The team at GA Solicitors has a varied practice, with particular expertise in representing children in personal injury litigation. The group also has experience in motorcycle and cycling claims, as well as claims against the Ministry of Defence. Workplace injury claims are another area where the firm has significant strength. Matthew Sheather, described as 'a man for detail', leads the practice, with substantial experience in chronic pain cases and fatal accident claims. James Walsh is noted for his expertise in industrial disease litigation, while Kevin Digby works alongside trade unions in occupational disease claims.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Sheather

Other key lawyers:


GA operates a team of specialist solicitors who are all exceptional at what they do.’

Matt Sheather is a man for detail and for a fight on the hardest of claims. James Walsh stands out in the South West for his industrial disease work. Kevin Digby brings enormous experience to the team in terms of employers’ liability claims.

Private client > Family Tier 4

The family team at GA Solicitors not only offers clients a full range of private law services, including divorce, financial remedies and mediation, but also strong public law services, covering neglect and domestic violence. Michelle Grove leads the team from Plymouth, specialising in divorce, private children's law and unmarried couple/ToLATA cases.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Grove

Other key lawyers:

Gloria Dyer; Andrew Wonnacott; Angela Timbrill


‘I found all members of the team to be friendly and helpful. They came across as non-judgemental and compassionate, the utmost professionals. ’

‘Gloria Dyer held my case for two years. She was consistent and stable by my side the whole time. I always felt listened to and she was upfront with me when I needed it most. Always professional, supportive and non-judgemental. ’

‘GA is a well established and quality family law team based in Plymouth. I have worked with them for many years and the current team have continued that good work. Michelle Grove is a worthy successor and runs a strong team. They are good to work with.’

‘I have particular dealings with Angela Timbrill and Andrew Wonnacott in the care team. Angela in particular is a highly committed and long-standing member of the Devon Resolution Committee. She is very willing and gets on with things in the right way.’

‘Andrew Wonnacott goes the extra mile for clients.’

‘Gloria Dyer is very efficient.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

With a strong focus on the Cornwall and West Devon markets, the Plymouth based GA Solicitors offers a full suite of private client services. The team has a particular strength in succession planning. Jonathan Hall leads the team, specialising in estate planning and administration, and mental capacity law.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Hall

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Bailey, Matthew Rose


‘Many legal firms struggle to give good service, but GA never fail in this area.’

‘Matthew Rose is our main go-to; his knowledge and manner with clients are exceptional.’

‘We consider GA to be one of the premier firms of solicitors in the Plymouth area. They share our values of striving to deliver first-class customer service at a competitive price. GA Solicitors are an excellent firm who we would not hesitate to recommend to our clients.’

‘Catherine Bailey and Matthew Rose re both very personable people who are a pleasure to work with. They always offer sound advice in a way that is understandable to our clients at what is inevitably a very difficult time for them. They always deal with any enquiries promptly and keep us and our clients updated as matters progress.’

The firm GA Solicitors is an innovative law firm with more than 200 years of heritage and expertise. The firm invests heavily into its people through training, development, staff benefits and ongoing recruitment. Its vision is to RISE: Resolve, Innovate, Serve and Excel. This is clear across its eight core departments and numerous specialist teams, all of which have a strong focus on client service and providing added-value.

Ranked in The Legal 500, Chambers UK and Chambers Hight Net Worth,  it provides a modern office environment and the latest technology to support efficient and flexible working.

Principal areas of work
Company commercial: The firm’s established commercial team is ranked in Chambers and specialises in mergers and acquisitions, partnership and shareholder agreements, company formations and articles of association, joint ventures, reconstructions and insolvency.

Commercial property: GA has one of the largest dedicated commercial property teams in Plymouth. The experienced team is ranked in Chambers and includes specialists offering advice on commercial landlord and tenant law, development land acquisition, leases, property and asset finance and property sales and purchases.

Employment: The employment team advises businesses and senior level employees on all aspects of employment law, working with major employers across the region and beyond.

Dispute resolution: The firm’s dispute resolution department includes a number of specialist teams including property litigation, contentious probate, business disputes and landlord and tenant.

Family: GA’s family team is ranked highly in Chambers and includes a number of individually ranked lawyers, all highlighted as specialists in this field of law.

Personal injury and clinical negligence: Acting solely on behalf of claimants, GA’s personal injury team has recovered compensation for thousands of victims, totalling millions of pounds. Specialisms within the team include: asbestos, industrial and occupational disease and medical negligence.

Residential conveyancing: The firm’s award-winning residential team is one of the largest in the city and undertakes all residential work including sales, purchases, transfers of equity, mortgages and specialist trust work.

Wills, trusts and probate: This department undertakes a variety of private client work, such as trusts and tax planning, will writing and probate, and is ranked band one in Chambers High Net Worth Guide.

Energy: GA Energy advises large and small scale renewable energy developers on projects throughout the UK with particular expertise in on-shore wind, solar and battery storage projects. This includes advising on heads of terms, exclusivity agreements, land options for leases, cable and access easements and joint ventures for new build subsidy free projects. The team provides virtual in-house legal support, as well as advising energy developers on maximising value from existing asset portfolios, including re-powering, extending lease terms, co-locating technologies and retrofitting battery storage.

 Other office: Bath

Recruitment The firm continually looks to attract and retain the best in legal talent. Each year the firm recruits at least two trainees and is always open to the recruitment of individuals and teams in specialist areas of the law. Further details can be found at

Managing partner David Wallis
Head of Commercial Property David Stone
Head of Company Commercial James Peterson
Head of Employment Robert Zacal
Head of Wills, trusts & Probate Jonathan Hall
Head of Dispute Resolution Ieuan Jones
Head of Family Michelle Grove
Head of Personal Injury Matthew Sheather
Head of Residential Conveyancing Tony Dupreez
Head of Energy Helen Rumford
Jonathan Bouchta  photo Jonathan Bouchta Partner
Tony Dupreez  photo Tony Dupreez Partner
Lucy Foster photo Lucy FosterPartner
Michelle Grove  photo Michelle Grove Partner and head of family
Jonathan Hall  photo Jonathan Hall Partner and head of wills, trusts and probate
Ieuan Jones  photo Ieuan Jones Partner and head of dispute resolution
James Peterson  photo James Peterson Partner and head of company commercial
Matthew Rose  photo Matthew Rose Partner
Helen Rumford  photo Helen Rumford Partner and head of GA energy
Matthew Sheather  photo Matthew Sheather Partner and head of personal injury
David Stone photo David StonePartner and head of commercial
James Walsh  photo James Walsh Partner and head of asbestos litigation
Robert Zacal  photo Robert Zacal Partner and head of employment
: 80 staff, 18 partners
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
Law Society Children Panel
The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS)

CLIENT: Mr P, family client
TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you for helping me through a difficult and stressful period…..through your guidance we achieved a much better outcome than I could have expected. My thanks is not only for your skilful handling of my case but for your understanding and support. All my communication was handled very quickly and meetings were arranged without delay. Finding the right solicitor is not easy, so being able to quickly build up the trust to know you have found not only an excellent solicitor but someone with integrity is so important.”

CLIENT: Mr C, family client
TESTIMONIAL: “I could not speak more highly of the service that was provided by Gloria. Whilst I would not wish anyone to go through such a difficult and emotional time, I would very highly recommend Gloria to anyone going through divorce proceedings. Gloria provided a huge amount of empathy, care and non-judgemental advice, which were both highly helpful and with hindsight, extremely beneficial. The advice I was given was absolutely correct and well judged.”

CLIENT: Mr R, commercial property client
TESTIMONIAL: “David Stone is a particularly able property lawyer drawing on his extensive knowledge of the 54 Act. Approachable and knowledgeable he never fails to deliver and is a pleasure to deal with particularly as he distils complicated legal issues into simpler formats readily appreciated and understood by the client.”

CLIENT: Mrs L, commercial property client
TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you also for your words of wisdom and assistance at what was a difficult time for me…..Whilst writing, I would like to praise the staff you have. The ones I have dealt with have been helpful, cheerful and willing to go that extra mile. I would highly recommend your firm.”

CLIENT: Mr H, private client client
TESTIMONIAL: “Matthew acted for my family regarding the administration of my late father’s estate. His help and advice were invaluable during what was a very difficult and emotional time for my family and myself. Matthew dealt with all the complexities of administration of the estate and kept us well informed at all times. I thank him on behalf of my family and would certainly recommend his services to future clients.”

CLIENT: Mrs W, employment client
TESTIMONIAL: “Having worked closely with Rob over the last six years, I can highly recommend his advice and guidance. We have made significant structural and operational changes within the organisation and with Rob’s expertise, we were able to navigate the employment law aspects of this journey with confidence.”