Gateley sees revenues rise almost 10% for half-year while profit stays flat

Gatelely has posted a 9.8% increase in half-year revenues as the firm continues to boost its top line in the wake of its landmark 2015 listing.

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange, the AIM-listed law firm has confirmed that it took in revenues of £38.6m for the first half of the year, up almost 10% on last year’s H1 figure of £35.2m.

Profit before tax stayed flat at £4.2m, which the firm attributed to investment it had made in the business through additional staff and service lines.

The firm’s headcount increased 6.4% during the period to 763, including six lateral partner hires.

The firm’s senior partner Michael Ward said: “We have invested in the business in a number of areas and we have taken on more lateral hire partners than we were projecting to do.”

According to Ward, the firm made 11 lateral partner hires in 2015-16, 12 in 2016-17 and six in the first half of this year.

Growth has slowed compared to the same period last year, when the firm saw revenue rise 19% and profit jump by 44%.

Gateley floated on AIM in June 2015, becoming the first UK law firm to go public. The firm has acquired two businesses since the IPO – tax advisory business Capitus, which it acquired in April 2016 for £2.72m, and property consultancy Hamer Associates, which it acquired in September 2016 in a £2.05m deal.

Ward said: “We have seen robust activity levels across the group, yielding a 9.8% increase in revenue, enabling us to further invest in the business through additional staff and service lines. While we remain focused on seeking further acquisition opportunities, our ability to achieve organic growth by attracting talent, recruiting into growing service lines and delivering excellent customer service to our growing client base places us in a strong position for the second half of the year.”

He said the firm is currently in talks regarding both legal and non-legal acquisition opportunities, picking out the south of England as a possible region for future expansion.

“There is a large part of the country south of Reading, which is quite an attractive geographic area, where we are not represented at all,” he said.

This October, senior Gateley partners made almost half a million pounds each in a £10m share sale that saw the firm’s free float increase from 34% to 40.3%.

Two other UK firms have followed Gateley in floating this year – Gordon Dadds and Keystone Law, both of which also listed on AIM. Shares in Keystone began trading last Monday (27 November).