The year in numbers

0.5%

Increase in Group revenue

0.5%

Increase in Group profit before tax

0.2%

Increase in net assets

Chief Executive Officer’s Review

I am delighted with the Group’s resilience and achievements during FY21. We exceeded our own pandemic adjusted performance expectations that we set at the start of the Year by taking sensible steps to plot a steady and conservative course through the pandemic.

Our key priorities were to maintain excellent service delivery to our clients, whilst ensuring the safety and well being of our people, and I believe that we succeeded in achieving this.

By the beginning of H2 21 it was clear that demand for our services was strengthening significantly, and this remains the case with a good pipeline of work into FY22.

The expanding depth and breadth of our offering through our Platforms is becoming increasingly attractive to existing and new clients due to our ability to deliver multiple legal and consultancy services to projects in a coordinated and well-managed way. Our Platforms are market-facing structures
on which we aggregate complementary legal and consultancy services. I am excited about our opportunity to further expand these both organically and via acquisition in FY22 and beyond.

Owing to our excellent performance and disciplined working capital management in FY21, coupled with our confidence in the business, we are pleased to confirm the resumption of our stated dividend policy subject to approval at the forthcoming AGM.

UK’s most active M&A legal adviser

by deal volume according to the latest Experian Market IQ UK M&A league table

Professional Services Firm of the Year

at the 2021 Birmingham Post Business Awards

Law Firm of the Year

at the Thames Valley Business Awards

Net Promoter Score of 68

in our client satisfaction survey

Chief Executive Officer’s Review

“I am delighted with the Group’s resiliance and achievements during FY21. We exceeded our own pandemic adjusted performance expectations that we set at the start of the Year by taking sensible steps to plot a steady and conservative course through the pandemic.

We are guided by our purpose – we exist to deliver results that delight our clients, inspire our people and improve our communities.

“Our key priorities were to maintain excellent service delivery to our clients, whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing
of our people, and I believe that we succeeded in achieving this.

“By the beginning of H2 21 it was clear that demand for our services was strengthening significantly, and this remains the case with a good pipeline of work into FY22.

“The expanding depth and breadth of our offering through our Platforms is becoming increasingly attractive to existing and new clients due to our ability to deliver multiple legal and consultancy services to projects in a coordinated and well-managed way. Our Platforms are market-facing structures on which we aggregate complementary legal and consultancy services. I am excited about our opportunity to further expand these both organically and via acquisition in FY22 and beyond. Owing to our excellent performance and disciplined working capital management in FY21, coupled withour confidence in the business, we are pleased to confirm the resumption of our stated dividend policy subject to approval at the forthcoming AGM

“On a gradually improved trajectory, year to date activity levels are circa 7% down on the previous year. The Group has traded profitably and cash positive throughout the new financial year.

Some of our 2021 highlights

UK’s most active M&A legal advisor

By deal volume according to the latest Experian Market IQ UKM&A league table

Professional Services Firm of the Year

At the 2021 Birmingham Post Business Awards

Law Firm of the Year

At the Thames Valley Business Awards

Net Promoter Score of 68

in our client satisfaction survey

Financial results

Our FY21 revenue performance increased by 10.5% to £121.4m (FY20: £109.8m) which, alongside our swiftly implemented cost-management initiatives, predominantly arising from agile working arrangements, have yielded an increase of 10.5% in profit before tax to £16.3m compared with £14.8m for the prior year.

Underlying adjusted profit before tax increased by 7.1% to £19.3m (FY20 £18.1m) and the Group has also increased profit after tax by 12.2% to £13.2m.

Our Platform strategy

A diverse, distinctive and differentiated offering driving both growth and resilience.

Our Platforms are market-facing structures on which we aggregate complementary legal and consultancy services. The expanding depth and breadth of our offering through our Platforms is becoming increasingly attractive to existing and new
clients due to our ability to deliver multiple legal and consultancy services on projects in a coordinated and well-managed way.

A core part of our strategy remains growth and diversification via acquisitions which enhance quality and expertise in our chosen locations and expand our Platforms. Our Plc status and established reputation help us to attract and retain first class professionals who are the backbone of those Platforms.

Our strategy differentiates our business from “single discipline” competition, whilst at the same time offering a higher-value, more relevant service as we seamlessly deliver Platform focused legal and consultancy services. It also makes us more indispensable to our existing clients and more attractive to potential new clients. This is because we can help them with a wider range of complex standalone or inter-related issues that need to be navigated to deliver desired outcomes. Our service lines continue to evolve based, in part, on what our clients tell us they need.

We have successfully established our Property Platform and our People Platform since our 2015 IPO and during FY21 we
won a significant mandate to our Corporate Platform via our International Investment Services (IIS) business. Following a
competitive tender process, IIS were appointed Project Manager and Inward Investment adviser for Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority’s (CPCA) new economic growth programme, a programme designed to identify and attract 1,000 innovative and high-growth SMEs and 125 new inward investors to the CPCA region. We have also undertaken significant research across our Business Services Platform in preparation for its expansion in FY22.

We took a conscious decision not to make any acquisitions during FY21. Having completed four earnings-enhancing acquisitions during FY20, we focused on integrating those acquired businesses during that period. However, our strong performance during FY21 and our confidence in our strategy to build a broader professional services group means that we now intend to resume acquisition activity to further strengthen and diversify our services.

Property Platform

 

People Platform

 

Corporate Platform

Business services platform

Gateley Agile

Gateley Agile is our vision for a meaningful return to the office.

The pandemic and a shift to remote working has enabled us to rethink how we work and how our environment is organised. This presents a huge opportunity to think expansively and strategically about how we will work in the
future for our own benefit and that of our clients.

How our Gateley Agile strategy willbenefit our people and clients

We recognise that seeing each other face to face is important. So, our agile strategy will ensure that activities which include being together in the same place physically still take place, but they will be scheduled to optimise the use of our office capacity. Shaped by our Gateley Team Spirit we are creating a working environment that will bring out the best in our teams so that we can deliver the collective best to our clients including:

  • Greater flexibility in where our people work and when they are physically in the office
  • Improvements in well being
  • Enhanced working environment and a greater emphasis on communication and collaboration
  • Enhanced client experience and more choice in how they interact with Gateley
  • A reduced carbon footprint with less daily commuting and fewer trips between offices
  • Opportunities to refresh our spaces with an eye on sustainability options

Chief Executive Officer’s Q&A

New Chief Executive Officer, Rod Waldie, talks here about how he will ensure that the business will meet the challenges ahead.

Q1. What is your vision for the business?

Our strategy for the business is very clear in terms of a diverse, distinctive and differentiated offering which drives both growth and resilience. Part of that growth is moving towards becoming a wider professional services business where the balance is more pronounced between our consultancy services and our legal business. We believe this makes for a more interesting and rewarding proposition for the people who work in our business as well as our clients and investors.

Q2. What are the opportunities for Gateley this year?

Our historical resilience shown through numerous economic cycles combined with a clear and meaningful strategy for the long-term development of our business, demonstrate to staff, clients and investors that their careers, instructions and investments are in safe hands despite the macroeconomic environment. Looking to the future, opportunities undoubtedly exist to broaden our range of professional services through acquisitions that enhance our client offering and deliver strong returns and we are very much focused on our growth strategy organically and acquisitively.

Q3. How would you describe Gateley’s culture?

We are guided by our purpose - we exist to deliver results that delight our clients, inspire our people and improve our communities. Our culture is inclusive, empowering and builds trust and in an environment in which everyone is welcome and valued. This allows people to play to their strengths in a business which has an infrastructure for opportunity and fair career progression. We have internal networking groups that promote awareness and understanding and drive positive change, including further advances in our diversity and inclusion efforts.

In addition, our culture is a product of the way we integrate our people and is built around our ‘one-team’
approach and what we call the ‘Gateley Team Spirit’; a set of behaviours that underpin who we are as a business. We encourage these behaviours internally and recognise those people who are living and breathing them every day through our annual Gateley Team Spirit Award programme.

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