Sarah Downey assesses Gateley’s audacious plans to become the UK’s first listed law firm
Following in the footsteps of Australia-listed Slater and Gordon, which demonstrated the benefits of using a share offer to part fund its recent £637m acquisition of Quindell’s professional services division, West Midlands firm Gateley confirmed in May it intends to float on AIM later this year.
The move would see the 380 fee-earner outfit become the first UK-listed law firm with an initial public offering (IPO) aimed at a valuation of £130m to £140m. Birmingham-headquartered Gateley had been scoping the possibility of an IPO since last year. Spearheaded by senior partner Michael Ward and London corporate head Nick Smith, the idea emerged during its strategy review before being sounded out with brokers and by holding focus groups to gauge client views.