Gateley expands with Reading office opening

Gateley has launched in Reading with the hire of Pitmans’ former managing partner Christopher Avery.

The office will be Gateley’s seventh in England, alongside its lone international office in Dubai.

The firm also has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen which trade under the name HBJ Gateley.

Michael Ward, Gateley’s chief executive, said the Reading office was in the “highly strategic Thames Valley/M4 corridor which is a large and growing centre for legal services” and confirmed the office would have a full service offering.

The Reading opening is the Birmingham-headquartered firm’s first office launch since it opened in Leeds in 2012.

Avery joins the firm from Pitmans – a 39-partner firm with offices in Reading, London and Southampton – where he was managing partner for 25 years up until June 2015.

Gateley became the first English law firm to float when it listed on the AIM market on 8 June 2015.

The firm raised £30m by placing 31.6 million ordinary shares, shareholders made £25m and the firm kept £5m. The listing valued the firm at £100m.

Ward said: “We indicated at the time of the initial public offering that whilst we had a fully invested UK network of offices we would consider opportunities in one or two other geographical locations if the right opportunity presented itself and Reading is such an opportunity.”

In its six month trading update to the stock exchange in November, the firm said that it expected its revenue in the six months to 31 October would be at least £29.5m.