Gateley to double office space in Leeds in early move

Gateley is doubling its presence in Leeds with an office move three years earlier than planned after adding 22 lawyers in 18 months. 

The firm will leave its Toronto Square base in October, where it occupies 3,880 sq ft, for a 7,500 sq ft office in Minerva House.

Gateley launched in the region in January 2012 in a bid to cement a relationship with Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank (9 January 2012). It planned to stay in the same office for five years but is set to double its Leeds presence in the coming year.

The firm launched in the region with a small corporate recovery team at Clydesdale’s request but has also been extending its residential development and banking teams. Gateley recently retained its place on Clydesdale’s panel (29 July 2014).

By October the firm will have a team of 10 working for house building clients with six lawyers doing transactional work and four undertaking dispute resolution. It is also eyeing corporate clients in Leeds and aiming to expand its banking reach.

Gateley’s Leeds growth stands in contrast to other firms in the region, which have scaled back in recent years (21 July 2014).

Addleshaw Goddard reduced its headcount in the city by 14 per cent over the past five years, Eversheds by 31.2 per cent and Pinsent Masons by 12.9 per cent.

The area has not been as popular as Manchester for UK firms but in headcount terms the financial and professional services market is the largest in the UK, employing around 9,400 people according to TheCityUK.

Gatley’s banking ambitions put it in line with several of the Leeds ‘big six’, Addleshaws, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, Squire Sanders and Walker Morris. Addleshaws is instructed by the Yorkshire Building Society while RBS, Lloyds, Barclays and Leeds Building Society all turn to DLA Piper in the city. 

However in the long term Gateley is also aiming at a bigger commercial real estate group as well as expanding its employment team. The firm currently uses its tax and pensions teams based in Manchester to service Leeds clients.

Gateley is also moving in Nottingham as its lease comes to an end, which will also include space for growth.

During the 2013/14 financial year the firm paid £2.7m for its 132,253 total square footage across the UK.