Law firm float unlocks the market

Gateley (Holdings) plc has commenced trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, making it the first full service commercial law firm to float in the UK.

The IPO raised £30 million from institutional investors including Schroder Investment Management and Miton Asset Management. The firm intends to use the net proceeds to assist the transition from its previous LLP structure to a PLC.

Gateley announced that the IPO and admission received strong support from staff, partners and clients.  It is possible that a successful listing may encourage other law firms to follow in the company's footsteps. Early indications have been positive, with a market capitalisation on admission of£100 million and a share increase of around 4% on the first day of trading.

Although the structure of the IPO itself was not particularly unusual, it is worth noting that Gateley opted not to instruct external counsel to take them public. A particular point of interest for practitioners will be the extended five year lock-in agreement with claw-back and restrictions in a move planned to retain existing partners and fee earners and their commitment.

Jenisa Altink-Thumbadoo, analyst in the Lexis®PSL Market Tracker team. 

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