GA Solicitors > Plymouth, England > Firm Profile

GA Solicitors

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

GA Solicitors 's focus lies primarily within employer clients. The team regularly oversees redundancies, restructurings, employment contracts, terminations, TUPE and litigation before the Employment Tribunal. Robert Zacal leads the team. He is well-regarded for his handling of Covid-19 related employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Rob Zacal

Other key lawyers:

Kayleigh Arthurs


‘I liked being able to speak to the same person at point of contact, without having to explain the situation to different people each time I called.’

‘Friendly and approachable and a fast turnaround from query to response.’

‘The specialists have in depth knowledge in their fields.’

‘First-class response, excellent knowledge and advice.’

‘Robert Zacal – extremely clear, comprehensive and thorough legal advice. He cuts straight to the issues and has a good appreciation of the commerciality of the decisions required.’

‘Robert Zacal was knowledgeable, commercial and personable. He was also efficient and dealt with matters promptly and effectively.’

‘Robert Zacal is in my view a very effective employment lawyer. He knows the law and the workings of the employment tribunal. Most importantly his advice was realistic about what could be achieved and he always bore in mind the economic realities of litigation.’

Key clients

Newton Abbot Races Limited

Brittany Ferries (BAI (UK) Limited)

The Angel Foundation (God TV)

Morris Engineering Limited

Wolseley Community and Economic Development Trust

Peninsula Finance PLC

Cornish Concrete Products Limited

Lapmaster Wolters Limited

Goodmans Financial Planners Limited

Foot Anstey Trust Corporation Limited

Work highlights

    Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy, project finance and PFI Tier 3

    GA Solicitors joins the ranking this year with an energy practice that was established in 2019 by the arrival of Helen Rumford. Since then, the firm has built a department which advises developers on a range of renewable technologies, especially wind, solar, and battery storage. James Peterson assists energy clients with corporate and commercial matter such as joint ventures, partnerships, acquisitions, and disposals. Dispute resolution assignments are handled by Ieuan Jones, who joined the firm at the beginning of 2021 from Nash & Co.

    Practice head(s):

    Helen Rumford

    Other key lawyers:


    ‘The team at GA work hard to respond to individual concerns and issues relating to specific sites, rather than one size fits all.’

    ‘Helen Rumford has a wealth of experience in the renewable energy sector, which is clearly evident when talking to clients.  She brings a clear and calm manner to the table, which is invaluable during negotiations with landowners and DNOs alike.’

    ‘Small team which is efficient and communicates well. Regular contact with partner with broad energy sector experience.’ 

    ‘Helen Rumford has excellent communication and responds quickly and efficiently to all matters raised.’

    ‘Helen Rumford, Partner at GA Solicitors, has provided us with excellent, considered and balanced legal advice over the years that she has been working with us. She is notable in her ability to work with other solicitors to ensure that matters are resolved swiftly and smoothly.’

    Key clients

    Bluefield Solar Income Fund

    Bluefield Services Limited

    Bluefield Operations Limited

    Low Carbon Gordano

    Climate ER Ltd

    Bluefield Renewable Developments Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advising Bluefield Solar Income Fund on maximising the value of their existing project portfolio of UK solar assets worth in excess of £621 million.
    • Sole legal appointment for a solar energy developer with a pipeline of solar projects across the UK.
    • Advised Low Carbon Gordano on rooftop solar opportunities with local schools and potential new community partnerships to help facilitate and encourage more renewable energy generation and community engagement in the green recovery.

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

    Highlighted for its ‘pragmatic, problem-solving approach’, GA Solicitors commercial property offering extends to sectors such as healthcare and renewables. Practice head David Stone covers all related matters with an emphasis on landlord and tenant work. Lucy Foster, who heads the secured lending team, is praised for ‘dealing with issues promptly and with a practical solution that works for all parties’. A particular focus on development work, including land acquisition and disposal, comprises Tony Dupreez‘ advisory offering.

    Practice head(s):

    David Stone

    Other key lawyers:


    ‘Very knowledgeable, pragmatic with issues and most importantly in a time of extreme work loads as many firms are seeing they remain available.’

    ‘Lucy Foster is excellent and the main point of contact for me and us with the firm. Multiple colleagues have commented to me how good she is at getting the job done quickly, efficiently and dealing with issues promptly and with a practical solution that works for all parties.’

    ‘The team have a pragmatic, problem-solving approach to all they do. Everything done timely. Time and communication can concentrate on the issues of the greatest complexity safe in the mind that all else will be taken care of well.’

    ‘David Wallis and Lucy Foster have been our go-to property lawyers for years now. Their can-do attitude combined with superb attention to detail – a recipe for a great working relationship.’

    Key clients

    Gerrick Rose Animal Trust

    Peninsula Finance plc

    The Cary Estate

    Harrier LLC

    Arbuthnot Commercial Banking

    National Westminster Bank plc

    O’Connell Family Trusts

    Michael Spiers (Jewellers) Limited

    Barclays Bank plc

    ERS Transition Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advising Wadebridge Town Association Football Club in relation to an option agreement for the sale of the Club’s existing training facilities to a residential developer, aiding the Club in its relocation to and construction of new modern training facilities.
    • Advising Helliers Limited in relation to the purchase of a newly refurbished mixed use development, with the commercial area recently let to the Co-op.
    • Advising Peninsula Finance Plc in connection of a loan facility to a development company of £1,100,000 for the acquisition of a residential development site, dealing with all aspects of the security work and title investigation.

    Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 4

    Plymouth-based GA Solicitors receives instructions from corporate clients on matters ranging from acquisitions and disposals through to restructurings. The practice provides ongoing advice to many of its clients, advising them on a series of transactions, and also provides assistance on commercial contracts. James Peterson leads the team with Tony Cusack taking the lead on much of the practice’s restructuring work.

    Practice head(s):

    James Peterson

    Other key lawyers:

    Key clients

    Taxi Services (Plymouth) Limited

    Castle Air Group

    National Westminister Bank PLC

    GMD Eurotool Limited

    Euro Lifts Limited

    ATN Teaching & Consultancy Services Ltd

    I Marshall & Sons LLP

    Drew & Co Group

    AutoRIM Limited

    Compass House Medical Centres

    Work highlights

    • Taxi Services (Plymouth) Limited: Advising the Need-A-Cab group on its growth and expansion strategies, together with the acquisition of several businesses in the same sector across the South West.
    • National Westminister Bank PLC: Representing and advising National Westminster Bank on several large refinances to protect the bank’s position (predominantly in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors).
    • GMD Eurotool Limited: Advising GMD Eurotool Limited and its stakeholders on investment and growth options, together with the sale of a majority stake in this family owner-managed business to a sector specialist investment group.

    Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; claimant Tier 4

    The personal injury team at GA Solicitors has a strong offering in the area of asbestos-related claims, where it acts for clients who were exposed to asbestos at work and through secondary exposures. The team is also engaged to handle a wide range of claims related to road traffic accidents, workplace injuries and accidents in commercial establishments. The practice has expertise acting for clients with injuries including orthopedic, psychiatric and chronic pain conditions as well as fractures. James Walsh is the lead figure in the team on industrial disease claims, while Matthew Sheather handles the practice’s claims which fall outside this area.

    Practice head(s):

    Matthew Shearer; James Walsh

    Other key lawyers:

    Kevin Digby

    Work highlights

      Private client > Family Tier 4

      GA Solicitors splits its practice into a private client focused division and a public law division to handle family matters. Michelle Gove heads the practice. Solicitor Jonathan Yates joined the team from Gard & Co in February 2022.

      Practice head(s):

      Michelle Grove

      Other key lawyers:

      Gloria Dyer; Rachel Eyre; Andrew Wonnacott


      The family and care team are outstanding. They work in a way that is entirely child centred and focused on achieving best outcomes for families at all times.’

      ‘Andrew Wonnacott is also an asset to the team as an experienced children’s solicitor and I have the utmost confidence in his approach and work, and his ability to explore matters in a child focused way.

      ‘The private law family team at GA Solicitors excel in their client care and frequently go the extra mile for lay and professional clients.’

      ‘GA is a really good firm in the South West who are comfortable handling complex work, and are instructed by central London clients as they provide good value whilst competing in quality with the firms in that area.’

      ‘Michelle Grove is an outstanding partner who is comfortable handling the most complex financial remedy matters.’

      ‘Approachable and friendly team who work in collegiate manner.’

      ‘GA Solicitors are a well known and forward looking firm that cover the majority if not all of the legal disciplines that a modern practice should cover.’

      Work highlights

        Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

        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 BouchtaPartner
        Tony Dupreez photo Tony DupreezPartner
        Lucy Foster photo Lucy FosterPartner
        Michelle Grove photo Michelle GrovePartner and head of family
        Jonathan Hall photo Jonathan HallPartner and head of wills, trusts and probate
        Ieuan Jones photo Ieuan JonesPartner and head of dispute resolution
        James Peterson photo James PetersonPartner and head of company commercial
        Matthew Rose photo Matthew RosePartner
        Helen Rumford photo Helen RumfordPartner and head of GA energy
        Matthew Sheather photo Matthew SheatherPartner and head of personal injury
        David Stone photo David StonePartner and head of commercial
        James Walsh photo James WalshPartner and head of asbestos litigation
        Robert Zacal photo Robert ZacalPartner 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.”