Gateley raids Cobbetts for Leeds launch

Regional firm Gateley has raided the Leeds office of Cobbetts to launch in the Yorkshire city, hiring two partners, one in restructuring and one in disputes.

Senior Cobbetts restructuring partner William Ballmann and litigation partner Rob Payne, who specialises in restructuring and the financial sector, both join Gateley in Leeds. Ballmann was previously head of the restructuring practice and joins as head of the office.

The double exit comes as Manchester-based Cobbetts’ negotiations with North West firm DWF progress, with a deal understood to be close (9 January 2011).

Ballmann, who join Cobbetts in 2003 from Royal Bank of Scotland, has handled a number of major restructuring and insolvency cases including Parkside Industries Group, CardWorld, Furness Withy Shipping and Leeds-based law firm Fox Hayes (26 January 2009).

Gateley’s Leeds launch follows the opening of a Manchester office 18 months ago.