Gately chief says the firm will boost expansion plans

updated on 23 January 2023

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Law firm Chief Rod Waldie has outlined his expansion plans for Gateley Legal after a slowdown in the legal sector pay war meant Gateley’s salary to revenue ratio to returned to “normal” levels.  

The two-year wage war in the legal industry has forced firms to compete to offer the highest starting salaries, with some firms offering newly qualified lawyers as much as £161,500 a year

Now, as salary inflation begins to steady itself, Waldie has said the “whole sector is benefiting”. In the first half of 2022, Gately’s expenditure on salaries as a proportion of its total revenues hit 64.1%, but now a slow in wage growth saw the rate to drop to 61.7% at the end of October.  

The slowing in the battle for talent comes as, for the first time in history, Gateley’s fee earner headcount hits highs of more than 1,000. This is a significant increase for the alternative investment market (AIM) listed company, and is a result of its mergers and acquisitions (M&A) expansion.  

Waldie said Gateley’s expansion plans aim to further diversify its business and grow its geographical reach, noting the company currently has £24 million ready to use for M&A. “M&A is a key part of our strategy”, Waldie said, explaining that Gateley’s commitment to expand into further areas across the legal and professional services sector will allow the AIM listed firm to further hedge their business.  

So far, Gateley’s M&A activity has been self-funded through cash and shares, but Waldie affirms that being listed on AIM will provide the firm with a further “tool” to acquire money for any future large-scale acquisitions.  

The firm reported a 22.2% uptick in pre-tax profits last Wednesday 18 January, with higher revenues coming after sales from its consulting business more than doubled after a series of acquisitions. Shares in Gateley also rose by 1.06%, signifying a positive shift after the firm lost 12.39% of its value over 2022.