Management at Gateley law firm say they are feeling optimistic about the coming months after a strong performance during the pandemic.
The business, the first commercial UK law firm to list on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM Market, saw pre-tax profits rise 10 per cent in the six months to October 31, at £6.1 million.
A sharp drop in activity levels in the spring lockdown had been mitigated by continuing improvements, taking overall activity levels slightly up on the same period a year earlier.
The number of fee earners within the business rose to 785, from 706 the previous year.
Overall revenues were down marginally at £50.5 million.
Net assets were up 60 per cent to almost £50 million.
Founded in Birmingham in 1808, the business now has 1,100 staff across offices in Belfast, Birmingham, Bolton, Guildford, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Reading and Dubai.
In a trading statement Gateley said: “Following a strong first half performance, the business has entered the second half of the financial year with a sense of optimism and confidence.
“Trading in the second half has maintained momentum despite macro-economic uncertainty resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
“Whilst remaining cautious, the group’s well-diversified and resilient business model gives the board confidence for the future.
“So long as trading remains robust for the remainder of the financial year, the board will be in a position to, and intends to, award bonus payments to staff and make dividend payments to shareholders for the current financial year.”
Chief executive Rod Waldie said: “I am delighted with the group’s excellent operational and financial performance during the first half of our 2021 financial year.
“The wellbeing of all our people remains our priority. In the meantime, despite the personal challenges of working through the pandemic, our loyal and dedicated teams continue to serve our clients to the highest standard.
“This affirms the strength of Gateley’s “one team” culture and the adaptation of our systems to ensure the delivery of an excellent service to our clients.
“Gateley’s business model and its mix of service lines, which has been supplemented by our successful M&A strategy, was deliberately designed to provide resilience, the value of which is demonstrated in the Group’s H1 21 performance.
“Our platform strategy is developing across the group. Legal and consultancy businesses are working closely together to attract new work, in a manner that differentiates Gateley and which is becoming increasingly attractive to clients.
“The acquisition pipeline is positive. Our strategy remains to continue to acquire complementary legal and consultancy services, to expand our diversified business and to reach deeper into our chosen markets, further enhancing the group’s resilience.
“The FY 21 revenue pipeline is robust and this, combined with the many operational efficiencies that we have so far realised in the current year, means I am confident that, despite general uncertainty arising from the pandemic, the group is positioned well to deliver a strong performance for the remainder of the financial year.”