Banking & finance

Our Banking & Finance group consists of our Banking, Financial disputes & Regulation and Restructuring teams. 

Our Banking team act for UK based financial institutions, including all the main clearing banks, and also a number of specialist lenders, such as fund-based lenders and asset-based lenders, corporate borrowers and high net worth borrowers, providing the full range of banking services.

Our Financial disputes & Regulation (“FD&R”) team are at the forefront of advising clients on new developments in financial services regulation as they happen. The team assist institutions with everything from operational disputes to security issues and recoveries

The Restructuring team advise on the preservation of assets as well as possible turnaround solutions for businesses in distress, either inside or outside of a formal insolvency process. The team act for many of the leading funds, investors and financial institutions as well as working closely with their other preferred advisers and insolvency practitioners.

A day in the life of a banking & finance lawyer

What’s your role and how do you help clients?

I am an Associate in the Banking and Finance team in the Birmingham office. I support lender and borrower clients with financing transactions, by negotiating the principal documentation and project managing the satisfaction of a lender’s pre-conditions to funding. I act on a range of transactions, including financing transactions for company acquisitions and property acquisitions. 

I work most frequently with the Corporate team, when either they are acting for a private equity house investing in a corporate group and we assist them with reviewing and agreeing on the debt documentation, or when the Banking team is acting for a lender funding an acquisition and the Corporate team assist us with reviewing the principal acquisition documentation.  

What does your day-to-day work consist of?

My day-to-day work consists of drafting, reviewing and negotiating finance documents, communicating with clients to explain the practical impact of the legal documents, and communicating with lawyers acting for the other parties to a transaction to either negotiate the documentation or work together to ensure all aspects of the transaction are in hand and will be satisfied within our respective clients’ desired timetables (which hopefully are the same!). 

Has there been a particular highlight for you whilst with Gateley? 

Recently I was involved in a pitch for a new client, which involved us meeting the client (virtually) to explain how we could help with their proposed fund-raise and generally sell ourselves. We won the new client, which was a great result.

Over the years I have been involved in some large transactions that involved a number of teams at Gateley working together and culminated in a (usually all day) completion meeting. There is usually an air of celebration and it is always a highlight when everything comes together after a period of hard work and the client is pleased with the outcome. 

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of the 6 UK clearing banks served

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Business services

Our Business Services Group consists of our Dispute resolution, CTM, Regulatory and Shipping and Transport teams. 

The national Commercial Dispute Resolution (“CDR”) team manages a wide variety of commercial disputes for a range of clients, working with private individuals as well as large corporates on a national and international basis. The team takes a proactive and solution-focussed approach to litigation and dispute resolution. 

Our Commercial, Technology & Media team (“CTM”) supports clients across the broad spectrum of their commercial operations: from commercial contracts to outsourcing to supply chain agreements to intellectual property, branding and franchising to technology, data protection and cyber protection.

The Regulatory team handle all aspects of corporate defence and compliance. Their work falls into five core areas: Health & Safety, Food Safety, Product Safety & Consumer Protection, Environmental, and Financial Compliance (bribery, fraud, money laundering, HMRC). 

The Shipping team deal with all maritime and global transportation issues from the sale and purchase of superyachts to disputes arising at any stage of the transport and trading chain, whether goods are carried by sea, road, rail or air, in transit or warehoused.

A day in the life of a regulatory lawyer

What's your role and how do you help clients?

I defend companies and senior officers against any regulatory investigations and/or prosecutions. In the main this is dealing with: HSE, EA, Police, CPS, NCA, SFO, and numerous others that have the responsibility of prosecuting corporate entities.

What does your day-to-day work consist of?

Internal investigations on behalf of businesses, quickly responding to a crisis that happens in the course of business; for example, fatal accident, environmental disasters, serious incidents, dawn raids as a result of production orders, police arrests etc.

Has there been a particular highlight for you whilst with Gateley?

Dropping everything when a serious incident has occurred. Then assisting the client in the immediate aftermath; with real-time advice and crisis management. Its deeply satisfying when you are able to deal with a situation that is on the national news and keep the client’s name out of the press.  

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Corporate

Our Corporate group consists of our Corporate, Private Client and Tax teams. 

Our award winning Corporate team has been recognised nationally, and is consistently one of the most active corporate teams in the UK. We advise private and public companies, owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs on a wide range of domestic and international corporate matters including acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, private equity investments, takeovers and equity capital market flotations and funding.

The Private Client team work regularly with ultra-high net worth and high net worth individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs, family businesses and corporate professionals on private wealth and family legal matters, providing the same high-quality service and insight as they would expect in their business lives. From pre-nups to children matters to divorce and separation, the team also help clients to deal with family legal matters in a cost effective and efficient way.

Our Tax team advise a broad spectrum of clients; international and domestic, private and public, corporate and non-corporate, large and small, and operate in industries ranging from insurance, finance, manufacturing and retail to media, entertainment, hospitality, sport and property. We are probably the most active Tax team in the UK by volume of M&A deals, working alongside our Corporate colleagues.  But we are also known experts on the tax structuring of property transactions and unusually for a law firm advise both commercial property developers/investors and housebuilders. We have a thriving share scheme practice and a growing tax litigation practice. Given the breadth of our work we integrate with every team in the Gateley business.  

A day in the life of corporate lawyer

What’s your role and how do you help clients?

I am a Solicitor in the Corporate team and work in the Birmingham office. I have acted for a wide variety of clients across a variety of sectors, including private equity funds, public companies, owner-managed businesses and individuals. My role also involves project managing the internal teams at Gateley and I work closely with colleagues in our various offices and teams, particularly with colleagues in our tax, banking, property, employment and commercial teams. 

What does your day-to-day work consist of?

A typical day always starts with a review of my diary and my inbox to check which tasks I need to action that day/week. A key skill for any corporate lawyer is being well organised and prepared. Preparing for a completion is a little like solving a puzzle, to try and make sure all of the pieces come together at the right time with no hiccups! When I work on large transactions, I am often responsible for collating diligence from numerous colleagues to produce one central report or for ensuring all transaction documents are in agreed form prior to a signing meeting. It is important for me to communicate regularly with the internal team to check where everyone is up to and see if there is anything I can assist with or action.

Has there been a particular highlight for you whilst with Gateley? 

I was recently part of the deal team who advised Gymshark on the minority investment by General Atlantic. The deal was valued at over £1billion and saw Gymshark achieve “unicorn status”. There are fewer than 25 British companies who have achieved this status since 2001 so this was a truly unique deal to have worked on. I worked exclusively on this transaction for over 5 months, this was a first for me as normally we work on multiple transactions at any one time, so I felt I really got to know and understand the business and I really enjoyed working so closely with the shareholders, directors and employees.

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Deals over £500K in the last 12 months

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% of deals worth £20M+

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UK ranking position for M&A activity by volume

Employment & pensions

Our Employment & Pensions group consists of our Employment, Global Mobility & Immigration, Entrust and Pensions teams.

The Employment team's core services cover all aspects of employment law, providing everything from employment contracts, handbooks and policies and procedures through to settlement agreements, employment tribunal claims and project work such as TUPE, redundancy and restructuring.

The Global Mobility & Immigration team work closely with HR and talent teams to address the regulatory issues around global mobility projects and international assignments.

Our pension trustee company, Entrust, act as trustee of a wide range of occupational pension schemes. They help schemes to manage their liabilities, simplify administration and implement compliance packages. 

Our Pensions team advises trustees and employers on all aspects of pensions law, from advising trustees on the day-to-day management of their pension schemes to advising on the legal aspects of major projects and transactions.

A day in the life of an pensions lawyer

What’s your role and how do you help clients?

I am an associate in the pensions team at Gateley Legal. I typically advise companies and pension trustees on the legal issues relating to their final salary pension schemes. I also work closely with the firm’s corporate department on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions and with employment colleagues on the pensions issues that can arise in service contracts and settlement agreements. 

What does your day-to-day work consist of?

Final salary pension schemes are governed by a trust deed and rules and therefore I will often be asked to advise on and/or draft documentation to consolidate or amend these documents. I may be asked to attend trustee meetings to assist the trustees with the day-to-day running of their schemes and to provide training to the trustees on their obligations under pensions law. 

I will also work closely with other professionals who advise pensions schemes such as actuaries, administrators and investment managers. This is particularly the case where I am involved in large scale project work, for example, in the merger of two pension schemes or where the responsibility for meeting scheme members’ benefits is transferred to an insurer. 

Occasionally I can be involved in contentious work - typically where a member complaint has been made to the Pensions Ombudsman or a historical error has been identified in the pension scheme’s trust deed and rules that requires referral to the counsel and/or the courts.

There can also be a personal side to my work when I am asked by trustees to advise them on individual member issues, for example, where a pension has been overpaid or the trustees are uncertain as to how to exercise their discretion in the payment of a death benefit lump sum. 

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Property

Our property group consist of five core teams Real Estate, Residential Development, Planning, Construction and Real Estate Dispute Resolution.

Real Estate - with over 70 legal advisers nationally, our team acts on a wide range of industrial, retail, leisure, office and mixed-use projects across the UK. We regularly work for both national and regional commercial developers, real estate investors and occupiers. We manage the assets of a wide range of clients across the UK, ranging from shopping centres, outlet malls and high street parades to industrial parks or multi-let office buildings.

Planning - our well-respected national planning team has extensive experience of advising clients in the specialist and complex areas of planning, highways and compulsory purchase and compensation. With significant expertise in advising housebuilders, developers and local government teams on regeneration schemes. 

Residential Development - with over 230 specialists we have the largest residential development team in the UK offering a complete acquisition to disposal service. The team acts for national and regional housebuilders, promoters and institutional landowners on new residential developments of up to 6,500 new homes.

Construction – our national team covers every aspect of the property development process – from inception to completion, through to resolving any issues and disputes that may arise through litigation, arbitration, adjudication, mediation and negotiation. 

Real Estate Dispute Resolution – the team provides advice on a range of disputes and property issues including lease renewals, break options, property contract provisions, breaches of covenants by tenants, securing vacant possession of a property, covenants restricting the use of a property, adverse possession applications, serving notices, property insolvency related issues, dilapidations claims and easement issues. The team also provides specialist advice on: rights to light, Party Wall Act, agricultural tenancies, residential tenancies and service charge disputes, third party rights over land including trespass and rights affecting a development site, rights of way, and issues relating to the title to land.
 

A day in the life of a property lawyer

I am a senior associate in the Residential Development Team. My clients consist of national housebuilders and promoters and I act on their behalf on the purchase/promotion of land for development purposes and on any associated sales to registered providers or housebuilders.

What does a typical day look like for you?

On a day to day basis, I negotiate contracts for my clients to enable them to buy or dispose of land. Where I act for promoters, I will negotiate promotion agreements and also deal with the sale of the land once planning has been obtained. I liaise with clients, solicitors and will host contract meetings to get contract terms agreed. I also help clients to resolve problems they may have with potential sites by providing legal and commercial advice which is pragmatic and ensures clients achieve their objective as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible. This enables them to implement and maximise the profit from demanding development opportunities.

What’s a challenge you have had to overcome?

Nearly every deal I have completed has had different challenges. I have recently started acting for a modular housing provider and had to learn about modular housing and it’s latest developments in the housebuilding sector. 

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