William Ballmann and Andrew Johnson

Gateley Plc, the legal business of law-led professional services group Gateley, has appointed a new Head of Office in Leeds. Commercial Dispute Resolution (CDR) partner Andrew Johnson takes over from Restructuring partner William Ballmann, who is reducing his commitments ahead of retirement in 2020.

Born and raised in Leeds, Andrew is a partner in the CDR team with over 15 years’ experience in handling commercial disputes, particularly dealing with issues arising out of corporate transactions, complex projects, trading contracts and property related agreements.

William Ballmann established the Leeds office in January 2012 with just five members of staff plus a trainee.  Enjoying significant success since its launch, the office now employs 96 staff at its Minerva House location in the heart of the city. This includes 16 partners covering Banking & Finance, Financial Disputes & Regulation, Restructuring, Corporate, Regulatory, Dispute Resolution, Residential Development, Employment, Construction, and Real Estate. Recent client wins for the office include Gateley Plc being named as the UK legal advisor to global steel engineering organisation Waagner-Biro Stahlbau AG after the Leeds Construction team led the win, following a competitive tender with a number of City law firms.

The office has forged close links with the Leeds community since opening, working with Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Leeds and its partner, the Business Confucius Institute, to help develop new legal talent. Several lawyers are signed up to the Mentoring Programme at the University of Leeds. Gateley’s Leeds office is also the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in the North of England.

William Ballmann said: “I am very proud to have been at the helm of Gateley Plc in Leeds since our launch in 2012 and overseeing our ambitious growth. From starting out with just five people plus a trainee six years ago, we now provide a full-service offering to the Yorkshire region and beyond. I’m delighted to be handing over to Andrew who has played a key role in our growth in recent years.”

Andrew Johnson added: “I am very proud and excited to be taking on this new role as head of the Leeds office. Taking over from William is a great honour as he’s done a truly fantastic job at building our team here. He has made a huge contribution to the rapid expansion that we’ve experienced whilst maintaining a great atmosphere and spirit amongst the team.

“Thanks to his collaborative leadership, our Leeds office is now positioned to advise clients on the growing opportunities in Yorkshire and beyond, and I am very much looking forward to further developing the office and building on the success that we’ve seen these past six years.”

William Ballmann will remain in the business for another two years and remains on the Council of R3, The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. He is also the Head of the North Region for the Institute for Turnaround.