Legal Business Blogs

Gateley’s partners take home over 80% of £30m raised in landmark law firm listing

Gateley’s partners are set to receive £25m, more than 80% of the £30m total raised, as the West Midlands firm started its first day of dealings on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

The firm set aside £5m from its initial public offering which placed some 31.6m ordinary shares with institutional and other investors at the placing price of 95 pence per share, and had a market capitalisation of £100m on admission – down from the initially targeted valuation of between £130m to £140m. When its shares began trading at 8am this morning there was an initial 20% bump to 115p but as of 10am the price had fallen back to around 100p.

Net proceeds from the £5m which is designated for the firm will be used ‘to support the transition from the previous LLP structure and for general working capital to support and implement Gateley’s growth strategy’.

According to Gateley, the admission received strong support from staff, partners and Gateley clients, with approximately 10% of gross placing proceeds being investments in the company by clients.

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe was the financial adviser, nominated adviser and broker to Gateley and KPMG was the accountant and tax adviser.

Chief executive Michael Ward said: ‘We are delighted to be the first UK law firm to list on AIM and today marks a significant achievement for this successful, fast growing and entrepreneurial legal services group. We view the support from staff, partners, clients and investors as a strong endorsement of the group’s growth plans and we look forward to creating value for our new shareholders as we begin life as a listed public company.’

The firm’s board comprises:

  • Non-executive chairman Nigel Payne: former chief executive of Sportingbet and non-executive director of Gama Aviation
  • Chief executive Michael Ward: joined the firm in 1987 and was elected senior partner in 2001
  • Chief operating officer Peter Davies: dispute resolution lawyer who has been involved in the firm’s management for 20 years
  • Finance director and company secretary Neil Smith: joined in 2008 from Grant Thornton
  • Non-executive director Joanne Lake: spent 21 years in investment banking including with Panmure Gordon and Williams de Broe
  • Non-executive director Michael Seabrook: spent nearly 25 years as a partner at Eversheds and since retiring has held a range of non-executive roles

The move sees the 380 fee-earner outfit become the first UK-listed law firm to be publicly traded.

For more on Gateley’s listing see: Selling the family silver: Will Gateley’s listing on London’s stock exchange pay off?