Law firm Gateley records 'resilient' performance during time of uncertainty

The legal firm Gateley today said it had recorded a resilient performance during a time of uncertainty.

Rod Waldie

Gateley, which employs 111 staff in Leeds, has published its audited preliminary results for the year ended April 30 2020.

The company recorded revenue of £109.8m an increase of 6.1 per cent over the previous year, while its underlying operating profit before tax increased by 3.9 per cent to £18.7m.

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Rod Waldie, CEO of Gateley, said: "We are delighted with the performance of the group for the year and that the business has continued to trade profitably and remain cash positive throughout the new financial year.

"This would not have been possible without the commitment, dedication and understanding of all of our colleagues, whose wellbeing remains our highest priority.

He added: "In FY20 we continued to invest in the growth of the group through strategic headcount increases and four diversification acquisitions.

"The group performed well and in line with market expectations until COVID-19 impacted at the end of February 2020. When country-wide restrictions were introduced in early March, many of the group's mandates were put on hold and, like most businesses, we experienced an unexpected and sudden reduction in revenue.

"As a people business with a cost structure aligned to forecast revenue, and with little time before the end of the year for cost mitigation measures to take effect, this reduction in revenue, during our critical Q4, immediately impacted our profitability.

"We took swift action to mitigate this, whilst taking great care to protect the long-term growth prospects of the group, which are of utmost importance to all our stakeholders. We believe that it is crucial to the sustainability and future success of our business that we maintain capability and capacity, even if this impacts our profitability in the short term.

"The group is benefitting from cost savings resulting from new ways of working introduced during lockdown, and we will capitalise on these and other operational gearing potential to improve margins in the longer term, and to strengthen further the resilience of our business.

"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."