Firm Profile > Gateley Plc > Manchester , England

Gateley Plc
M2 4WU

Employment Tier 1

The employment team at Gateley Plc has particular strengths in the healthcare space, acting for hospital doctors and those in primary care, as well as demonstrable expertise in the retail and sports sectors. The team also supports the firm's corporate department, advising on the employment aspects of major transactions in sectors including hotels, logistics and travel. The experienced Michael Ball heads up the practice, while senior associate Emma Butterworth is also recommended. Avril England was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Leading individuals

Next Generation Partners

Rising stars

Key clients

British Medical Association


Manchester City Football Club

Casual Dining Group

Swinton Group Limited

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

Lancaster City Council

Bilfinger Industrial Services (UK) Limited

Media and entertainment Tier 1

Gateley Plc's team acts for TV production companies, broadcasters, advertisers, agencies, sports stars, authors and football clubs, including Manchester City, a longstanding key client of the firm. The practice advises on the full range of matters, covering broadcasting, employment, brand endorsements, commercial agreements, sponsorship and licensing. In new media it represents vloggers, Instagram and YouTube stars. John Burns heads the team and specialises in IP matters.


They value teamwork, honesty, respect and determination; and are genuinely interested in building a long term partnership’.

Key clients

Rockerdale Studios

Crep Protect Limited

Edition Capital

Manchester City Football Club

International Netball Federation

Sport Tier 1

Gateley Plc specialises in sports matters including brand licensing, sponsorship, stadium development work and litigation. Other areas of expertise include image rights agreements, governance, intellectual property, data protection and freedom of information requests. Key clients include national and international governing bodies and top football clubs including Manchester City, Everton and Brighton and Hove Albion. Team head John Burns - who 'has an outstanding commercial ability to see opportunities' - focuses on matters such as image rights and commercial agreements.

Leading individuals


‘Gateley provide excellent commercial and legal knowledge in a manner that is easy to understand.’

‘The team at Gateley are exceptional in their knowledge of the industry and have in-house teams at a number of clubs allowing them to gain an in-depth knowledge day to day which they can then use to assist other clients.’

‘They have an exceptional ability to understand not just the legal aspects but also the commercial elements of a contract, balancing the negotiation to get the desired outcome and minimising risk.’

The team at Gateley are very supportive – they have in-depth knowledge and great insight.’

‘John Burns and Stephen Roberts are excellent to work with. The respond in a timely manner and we have built strong personal relationships. I would not hesitate to recommend them.’

‘John Burns has such a fantastic understanding of sport and the complexities of the dealings in this area as well as the quirks of individuals. He has an outstanding commercial ability to see opportunities as well.’

Key clients

Manchester City Football Club/City Football Group

Everton Football Club

Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club

International Netball Federation

Sport and Recreation Alliance

Crep Protect Limited

Supporter’s Trust

Engaged Sports Management Limited

United Kingdom Cheerleading Association

North West Counties Squash League

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 2

Gateley Plc represents blue chip businesses, private equity houses and management teams. On the corporate side, the firm advises private and public companies on M&A, private equity deals, MBOs, disposals, joint ventures and shareholder/member arrangements. On the commercial side it advises on core business contracts, supply chain management, brand protection, payment services and outsourcing. Charles Glaskie and Jonathan Moakes head the team. Rebecca Grisewood ,  Paul Jefferson and Stephen Roberts are also recommended

Key clients


Inspired Energy Plc

Yearsley Group

Just Childcare Limited

Foresight Group

Palatine Private Equity


Grafenia PLC

Sorted Holdings Limited

City Football Group

Lookers plc

AB InBev

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Gateley Plc is active across a range of restructuring, turnaround, acquisition, disposal, investigation and recovery work. It is instructed by a raft of insolvency practitioners, private equity houses, banks, sureties, invoice financers, law firms and corporate clients. The team particularly stands out for its contentious insolvency expertise and it is often instructed on complex, cross-border cases. Andrew Buchanan heads the team that is praised for its 'technical strength' and for its 'willingness to collaborate on difficult matters', and Stuart Tait is also noted.

Leading individuals


The Manchester-based team has a technically strong, specialist contentious litigation recovery team prepared to commit necessary resource on a CFA basis alongside IPs and counsel

Danielle Haston is very driven and very reliable

The team is client focused and is focused on achieving objectives

The team is experienced, always proposes a solution and anticipates issues, options and strategies

Key clients

Ten Surety Providers

Begbies Traynor

Countrywide Farmers Plc (including advising KPMG as administrators)

Banham Poultry Limited (including advising Duff & Phelps as administrators)

Cummins Civil Engineering Limited

Mazars LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Intellectual property Tier 2

Gateley Plc advises on a broad range of IP-related matters including exploitation, franchising and brand licensing. Jonathan Moakes heads the team and handles both contentious and non-contentious matters for national and international clients.

Leading individuals

Pensions Tier 2

The team at Gateley Plc is led by Patrick Kennedy, who is described as 'a pleasure to work with' and is well-versed on all aspects of pension law. He is also the founding director of Entrust, and independent professional trustee company which operates as part of the firm and helps organisations run their pension schemes effectively. Stuart Evans has particular expertise in master trusts and works on many schemes to which Entrust has been appointed as trustee.

Leading individuals


The lawyers in this team have a particularly good understanding of the trustee position – the team is particularly good at cutting through the complexity of pensions law to advise on key points.

Patrick Kennedy is very interesting, with many talents, engaging the room and bringing humour to a dry subject matter. He is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Stuart Evans is very direct and gets the key issues, finding solutions quickly.’

‘Stephen Maynard is a very good pensions lawyer who has a good understanding of this technical area of the law, with an ability to translate technicalities into clear, plain English.

Banking and finance Tier 3

The team at Gateley Plc acts for a range of major UK high street banks, owner managed businesses, entrepreneurs, borrowers and local private equity houses, mezzanine lenders and debt funds. Acquisition finance is a key area of expertise, as is real estate finance, and the team stands out for its specialist experience in acting for asset based lenders and surety houses. Richard Sealy heads the team and senior associate Christopher Lister is also noted.

Leading individuals


Richard Sealy is excellent and a well known figure in the market

The team is experienced in a range of banking and finance work


Key clients

Beechbrook UK SME Credit Ltd


The Royal Bank of Scotland

Banking litigation Tier 3

Gateley Plc 's practice acts for banks, building societies and other finance providers on a range of litigation matters, including asset finance disputes and regulatory issues. Other areas of expertise include mis-selling and misrepresentation allegations, professional negligence, unfair relationship claims and authorised push payment fraud. Birmingham-based James Baird heads the team, while Manchester partner Andrew Field, who has advocacy and mediation experience, is also recommended.

Key clients

Macquarie Equipment Finance UK Limited

Henry Howard Finance Plc

Scania Finance Great Britain Limited

Arkle Finance Limited

Tower Leasing Limited

Grenke Leasing Limited

Kennet Equipment Leasing Limited

CIAC Corporation Inc

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 3

Gateley Plc handles a range of commercial property transactions, is noted for its residential development and property finance experience, and has a strong presence in the retail sector. The team also handles estate management work and is engaged on a number of acquisitions and disposals. Darren Hughes heads the team which was bolstered by the arrival of legal directors Louise Ilhan, who joined from an in-house role, and Nick Beko, who joined from gunnercooke LLP.

Key clients

Fairhome Group Plc

Bellway Homes

Bloor Homes

Wainhomes (North West)

Lidl UK

JD Sports Fashion

Network Space Developments

Northern Trust Company

McCafferty Asset Management

Hurstwood Holdings

Glossop Land

LPC Living Limited and Group


NM Rothschild & Sons


Construction Tier 3

Gateley Plc's 'experienced and client-focused' team handles contentious and non-contentious construction work for banks, sport sector clients and developers. It stands out for its 'strong' surety offering where it offers expertise in bonds, guarantees and recourse structures including indemnity agreements. Karen Spencer stands out for her surety expertise; Emlyn Hudson focuses on complex construction disputes arising out of construction and engineering contracts, and professional negligence. Hayley Sullivan heads the non-contentious team and the construction banking team. Consultant Richard White, who is experienced in the surety sector, is also a key figure.

Leading individuals

Next Generation Partners


‘The team has strong surety knowledge and expertise across the team.’

‘The team has strong negotiation skills in challenging circumstances.’

‘Advice is always clear, concise and considered.’

‘Karen Spencer has the ability to communicate and explain the legal position in a straightforward manner.’

Key clients

Aviva Insurance

Manchester City Football Club


Everton Football Club

Zurich Insurance

AIG Europe

QBE Insurance (Europe)

Network Space Developments

New York Bagel Company

Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe

Bournemouth Football Club

Fowler Welch

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Gateley Plc's two practitioners in this area, Janine Allen and senior associate James Seed, handle work including Inheritance Act claims, professional negligence claims relating to estate planning and will validity disputes. Allen's practice is complemented by her broad experience in healthcare sector litigation, while Seed has a particular focus on high-value contentious trust and probate disputes.

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Gateley Plc advises on cloud technologies, data flows, GDPR and large IT procurements. The firm is particularly experienced in advising clients in the financial services industry. The ‘very hands-on and practicalPeter Budd heads the team and focuses on all non-contentious IT work.

Leading individuals


Gateley feels like a London practice but at a much more reasonable cost’.

Peter Budd is an experienced IT lawyer used to handling large and complex outsource models for bluechip companies’.

Turnaround times are exceptionally fast and Peter Budd always makes time to be available’.

Planning and environment Tier 3

Gateley Plc is instructed by housing industry clients on the planning aspects of residential developments and it is engaged on town centre redevelopment schemes. Common land, town and village greens, highways, complex enforcement, environmental permitting, assets of community value,  planning agreements, applications, compulsory purchase and regeneration are key areas of experience. National planning head Andrew Piatt is ably supported by legal director Mark Iveson, who handles a range of infrastructure, residential and retail projects, as well as compulsory purchase work.

Leading individuals

Rising stars

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey



Barratt Homes




Keepmoat Homes


Regal (West Point)


Crest Nicholson

WD Chatham

Glossop Land

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 4

Gateley Plc's commercial dispute resolution team is led by Sarah Sabin , who advises on shareholder and boardroom disputes, including those with an international element. The practice's clients include SMEs, large corporates and high-net-worth individuals, with specialist areas including healthcare, sports litigation and shareholder disputes arising from M&A deals. The AIM-listed firm also handles multi-jurisdictional work, including leading on a multimillion-pound class action relating to the alleged mis-selling of property in Cyprus.


‘A good practical approach to dispute resolution while also recognising the potentially different outcomes of each approach.’

‘Excellent value as well as being easy to approach and work with.’

Gateley Legal, the legal business of professional services group Gateley.

The firm: Working through a network of nine UK offices and an international office in Dubai, Gateley Legal is the legal business of professional services group Gateley.

Gateley provides legal and business advice to companies of all sizes, from the up-and-comers to the big hitters.

Forward thinking, we were the UK’s first commercial law firm to list on the London Stock Exchange AIM growth market. It’s why we’re pushing the limits of what a legal and professional services business can offer.

Straight talking is an integral part of who we are, how we communicate and ultimately how we help our clients. Our 1000-strong team are born problem solvers who get their kicks from helping clients to get to where they need to be.

Types of work undertaken: We are a full service commercial law firm acting for a a range of clients, including SMEs, major UK companies and UK subsidiaries of overseas-owned corporates. Our private client team also works with HNW individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs on private wealth and family matters. We have a strength in international private wealth working with HNW individuals looking to live, work and invest in the UK.

Other offices: Belfast, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Reading, Guildford

Department Name Email Telephone
CEO Michael Ward
COO and partner Peter Davies
Banking and finance Anna Mayfield
Commerce, technology and media Simon Pigden
Construction Emlyn Hudson
Corporate Tom Durrant
Dispute resolution Steve Goodrham
Employment Chris Thompson
Financial disputes and regulation James Baird
Pensions Michael Collins
Planning Andrew Piatt
Private client and family Catriona Attride
Private equity Paul Jefferson
Real estate Rebecca Sherwin
Regulatory Ruth Armstrong
Residential development Callum Nuttall
Restructuring Mark Wilson
Shipping Paul Dickie
Tax James Gopsill
International Nick Smith
Photo Name Position Profile
 Liz Aboud  photo Liz Aboud
 Janine Allen  photo Janine Allen
 Gareth Atkinson  photo Gareth Atkinson
 Heather Aust  photo Heather Aust
 Rachel Baker  photo Rachel Baker
 Hannah Baldwin  photo Hannah Baldwin
 Michael Ball  photo Michael Ball
 Nick Beko  photo Nick Beko
 Joanna Belmonte  photo Joanna Belmonte
 Gary Bird  photo Gary Bird
 Sophie Brookes  photo Sophie Brookes
 Nigel Brown  photo Nigel Brown
 Andrew Buchanan  photo Andrew Buchanan
 Peter Budd  photo Peter Budd
 John Burns  photo John Burns
 Emma Butterworth  photo Emma Butterworth
 Anjali Chadda  photo Anjali Chadda
 Gavin Clarke  photo Gavin Clarke
 Richard Clitherow  photo Richard Clitherow
 Christopher Davies  photo Christopher Davies
 Chris Dunn  photo Chris Dunn
 Elizabeth Ebrahimi  photo Elizabeth Ebrahimi
 Avril England  photo Avril England
 Stuart Evans  photo Stuart Evans
 Andrew Field  photo Andrew Field
 Charles Glaskie  photo Charles Glaskie
 Rebecca Grisewood  photo Rebecca Grisewood
 Mark Halliwell  photo Mark Halliwell
 Lorna Harris  photo Lorna Harris
 Danielle Haston  photo Danielle Haston
 Stephen Hills  photo Stephen Hills
 Holly Howarth  photo Holly Howarth
 Emlyn Hudson  photo Emlyn Hudson
 Tom Hughes  photo Tom Hughes
 Darren Hughes  photo Darren Hughes
 Louise Ilhan  photo Louise Ilhan
 Rizwana Ishaq  photo Rizwana Ishaq
 Mark Iveson  photo Mark Iveson
 Paul Jefferson  photo Paul Jefferson
 Patrick Kennedy  photo Patrick Kennedy
 Phillip Laidlow  photo Phillip Laidlow
 Christopher Lister photo Christopher Lister
 Robert Lye  photo Robert Lye
 Jon Mason  photo Jon Mason
 Stephen Maynard  photo Stephen Maynard
 Katie Mindurski  photo Katie Mindurski
 Jonathan Moakes  photo Jonathan Moakes
 Nick Murrills  photo Nick Murrills
 Andrew Piatt  photo Andrew Piatt
 Aneesh Prasad  photo Aneesh Prasad
 Kate Richards  photo Kate Richards
 Nicola Richardson  photo Nicola Richardson
 Stephen Roberts  photo Stephen Roberts
 Becky Ryding  photo Becky Ryding
 Sarah Sabin  photo Sarah Sabin
 Lukas Schmidt  photo Lukas Schmidt
 Rick Sealy  photo Rick Sealy
 James Seed  photo James Seed
 Karen Spencer  photo Karen Spencer
 Rachel Stevens  photo Rachel Stevens
 Hayley Sullivan  photo Hayley Sullivan
 Stuart Tait  photo Stuart Tait
 Mary Thakkar  photo Mary Thakkar
 Chris Thompson  photo Chris Thompson
 Khurshid Valli  photo Khurshid Valli
 Rod Waldie  photo Rod Waldie
 Andrew Ward  photo Andrew Ward
 Leigh Whittaker  photo Leigh Whittaker
 Melanie Wilkinson  photo Melanie Wilkinson
 Sean Williams  photo Sean Williams
Number of UK partners : 150
Number of other UK fee-earners : 300

The Lex 100 Verdict

Gateley's 'innovative and entrepreneurial' plc status and the resulting 'incentives provided to staff by way of shares' enticed trainees. Respondents were impressed with the recruitment process, which made clear that the firm 'genuinely wanted to get to know you as a person above anything else'. Training is 'closely supervised', particularly in certain departments, where 'supervisors are willing to take the time to discuss your work and how it can be improved'. There are also plenty of opportunities to be 'the direct point of contact with the client and run smaller transactions yourself'. Some examples of the latter are: 'being the main liaison in completing a property transaction which had been running for years' and 'drafting a fairly technical letter to which my supervisor made almost no amendments'. There is a palpable 'emphasis on work/life balance' and trainees assured us that 'there are no adverse effects of leaving on time if your work is all done'. Gateley is a Lex 100 Winner for confidence of being kept on. That there is 'little choice when it comes to seats' is a bugbear; trainees are required to do a corporate, property and a contentious seat and the firm picks the first two departments. Inevitably, recruits had their fair share of low moments too, such as 'receiving a stamp duty land tax (SDLT) fine on a transaction', 'working long hours during the summer' and 'drafting documents for a transaction which was called off at the last minute'. To work at a firm which 'strikes a good balance between high-profile clients and exciting work whilst preserving a friendly, down-to-earth culture', research Gateley.