Law-led professional services group, Gateley has announced its acquisition of law firm GCL Solicitors LLP. This is the third and largest acquisition that Gateley has made since the Group’s admission to AIM in June 2015; the first being the acquisition of Gateley Capitus swiftly followed by Gateley Hamer.

GCL specialises in legal advice on residential developments and works with some of the UK’s top housebuilders as well as promoters and landowners.  The firm is also one of the leading law firms acting for overseas private investors buying new build residential properties in the UK, primarily in and around London.

GCL will trade as Gateley Plc from its existing offices in Guildford, Surrey. The GCL team, which comprises 79 employees, including six partners, will integrate into Gateley’s existing Residential Development team of 119 staff, sitting within its Property Group.  This national strength in depth will enhance the Group’s existing offering in London, which was established in 2015, as well as continue its expansion in Reading, following the recent appointment of a new partner in March 2018, and support the recent redeployment of specialist teams into Manchester and the East Midlands during 2018.

Gateley currently works with 18 out of the top 20 national housebuilders supporting on planning, land acquisition and sales of plots.  With the addition of GLC, Gateley’s plot sales team will advise on circa £2.5 billion worth of plot sales annually.

The acquisition will also add further strength to Gateley’s Real Estate Advisory Services (REAS) offering which provides specialist, complementary services to its property clients, combining expertise from property legal advisors at Gateley Plc, with specialist advice from its capital allowances business, Gateley Capitus and its compulsory purchase and utilities compensation business, Gateley Hamer.

Gateley Plc partner, Callum Nuttall, said: “I am delighted to welcome GCL to our Residential Development team. The acquisition further strengthens our position in the sector nationally and provides us with a substantial presence in the southern market, which we see as critical in developing that full service offering for our clients.

“There is a structural under supply of new housing in the UK and we see this as a market that will remain strong. The South East in particular will continue to be a massive engine for housing growth for the foreseeable future.

“Acquiring GCL allows us to offer a greater depth of specialism and expertise in all aspects of this market and I’m thrilled that we can now match our national office network to our clients’ networks with seven Residential Development teams operating across the country. There are also clear opportunities across the Group from this strategic acquisition, not least for Gateley Hamer and Gateley Capitus and we look forward to welcoming everyone from GCL into Gateley.”

Tony Inkin, Managing Partner of GCL said: “We are excited to be joining Gateley who have an outstanding reputation as the market leaders for legal advice in the Residential Development and wider property sector.  We have a great opportunity with our combined areas of expertise to build an unrivalled offering for clients in the South of the UK and to strengthen further the private property investment part of our business.  We are looking forward to integrating with the team and also benefitting from being part of a wider professional services group that will open up many new opportunities for our existing team and clients.”