Firm Profile > Gateley Plc > Leicester , East Midlands

Gateley Plc
East Midlands

Banking and finance Tier 1

Gateley Plc operates at the top end of the banking and finance market in the region, where it stands out in areas such as private equity, acquisition finance and real estate finance. It also has notable specialisms in asset-based lending, asset finance and consumer credit. In addition to handling domestic mandates, cross-border work is another area of activity for the firm, particularly in the context of restructuring transactions. Practice head Anna Mayfield is particularly experienced in financing transactions connected with the healthcare sector, and also those involving universities.

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

Gateley Plc's team advises on high-value and reputationally significant commercial disputes, and is highly active in cross-border matters, with recent work spanning jurisdictions such as the US, Singapore, Germany, Italy and Cambodia. In addition to handling general commercial litigation, team head Chris Greenwell has a strong specialism in professional negligence cases (particularly those connected with insolvencies, the provision of legal advice by solicitors and the financial services sector). Matters with a nexus to transport and logistics, sport and media, and recruitment are among the areas of strength of the group. Legal director Claire Herbert splits her practice between the Leicester and Nottingham offices. Associate Natalie Howes is another name to note.

Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

Gateley Plc's practice has become synonymous with advising developers on large, flagship regional and national development projects, under the leadership of practice head Simon Taylor. Its work covers a wide range of developments, including those involving residential, hotel, industrial, retail and student schemes. Town centre regeneration projects are another strong suit, with Taylor being a noted name in this area. The firm's credentials in the development space have been further enhanced by the hire of construction partner Piet van Gelder from Spearing Waite LLP. Colin Gittus assists clients with property finance, quality asset management and letting work, and property-related support in corporate transactions.

Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby Tier 1

Gateley Plc's standing in the market is reflected by its strong record of advising on multimillion-pound transactions and large, high-profile developments, as well as other general property matters. The high calibre of its practice sees the firm act for national and international clients, such as Starwood Capital Group and Henry Boot Developments. Steven Plummer heads up a newly formed, specialist residential development team, which acts for 18 of the top 20 housebuilders in the UK. Another key figure is senior associate Elly Duggins, who leads on matters involving real estate finance and pensions scheme work, and works with associate Charlotte Chapman on insolvency-related distressed property transactions. 'Extremely knowledgeable' practice head Adam Youatt has particular expertise in healthcare sector transactions, and acts for GP practices, medical property developers and other health service providers.

Employment Tier 1

Gateley Plc advises large corporates and senior executives on the full range of employment law matters. Core areas of expertise include TUPE, trade union and working time issues, equal pay, hiring and firing of senior executives and litigation. The team, which is led by Andrew Macmillan, also possesses notable experience of advising on the employment aspects of corporate transactions, insolvencies and restructurings.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Gateley Plc has a sizeable footprint in the East Midlands, with Chris Radford and legal director Su Garner leading specialist teams in Nottingham and Leicester respectively. The firm also leverages the resources of its wider national network to deliver a cross-office service to clients, handling complex, multifaceted restructurings and insolvencies. Clients include major high street clearing banks and other national financiers, insolvency practitioners, interim managers and investors in distressed businesses. The firm has a particularly notable reputation in contentious insolvency matters, including those with an international dimension, but also excels in non-contentious work, including accelerated sales, and financial and operational restructuring assignments. Retail, construction, real estate and manufacturing are among the many sector strengths of the practice.

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 2

At Gateley Plc, a key contact is senior partner Gareth John, whose practice is split between the Leicester and Birmingham offices, and who is the main relationship partner for many of the firm's large corporate clients. John has a wealth of experience of private equity buyouts, disposals, and corporate mergers and acquisitions. Another notable individual at the firm is intellectual property lawyer (and music and media law expert) John Buckby, who joined from Spearing Waite in December 2018. Buckby, who established record label Winding Road Records in 2002, is sought-out for assistance with drafting and negotiating record deals, publishing deals, management contracts and licensing agreements.

Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby Tier 2

Gateley Plc's team in Nottingham is part of a larger group in the Midlands, which is among the most active in the region on the deal front. Its reach also extends to national and, increasingly, international transactions, covering 'a broad spectrum of sectors'. Mark Rutherford leads the Nottingham team, which has strong relationships with a wide range of clients, including SMEs, banks and intermediaries, management teams and private equity houses. Rutherford, who is widely recognised in the East Midlands market for his strong track record in dealmaking, works alongside senior associates Victoria Elliott and Beth Mather.

Intellectual property Tier 2

Gateley Plc’s practice was recently strengthened by the arrival of John Buckby from Spearing Waite to lead its practice. The firm acts for clients across a wide range of industries, with media and entertainment being a particularly notable sector specialism. Trade mark work is a cornerstone of the practice, with Buckby assisting clients with devising national and international application strategies, managing disputes in UK and EU registries and advising on technical areas (including comparative advertising and keyword advertising). Buckby also handles collaborations, license agreements and complex IP contracts.

Construction Tier 3

In a high-profile move, Piet van Gelder joined Gateley Plc from Knights PLC in late 2018 to head up the firm's construction practice in the East Midlands. Van Gelder has specialised in advising construction and engineering clients since qualifying in 1999. The firm has a particularly strong reputation in the housebuilder sector, where it acts for 17 of the top 20 national housebuilders in contentious and non-contentious matters. The development sector is another notable strong suit for the firm, which also demonstrates strong capabilities in other areas, such as marine and infrastructure. The firm's contentious work typically involves issues such as professional negligence, defective design, poor workmanship, payment disputes and delay/loss. Employers, developers, contractors and end-users turn to the firm for advice. van Gelder is supported by senior associate William Cursham.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Gateley Plc covers the gamut of disputes, including claims of proprietary estoppel, applications to remove executors and breaches of trusts. Professional negligence (particularly in relation to solicitors and will writers) is an area of notable strength. The group also advises clients on various non-contentious issues. Chris Greenwell, Claire Herbert and Fiona Debney jointly lead the department.

Family Tier 4

At Gateley Plc, ‘service standards are high’ and lawyers are ‘very proactive’. Led by the ‘first classJane Cowley, the team is advises on divorce, cohabitation agreements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and private law children applications. Financial disputes are also a core area of strength, particularly those involving family businesses, trusts, farming businesses and landed estates.

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
 John Bucbky  photo John Bucbky
 Melissa Chantrill  photo Melissa Chantrill
 Jane Cowley  photo Jane Cowley
 Fiona Debney  photo Fiona Debney
 Su Garner  photo Su Garner
 Colin Gittus  photo Colin Gittus
 Chris Greenwell  photo Chris Greenwell
 Claire Herbert  photo Claire Herbert
 Natalie Howes  photo Natalie Howes
 Simon Taylor  photo Simon Taylor
 Piet van Gelder  photo Piet van Gelder
Number of UK partners : 150
Number of other UK fee-earners : 300
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.