The opening of a Reading office will expand Gateley’s national network of offices to seven in England, as well as an operation in Dubai, and fits with its strategy of becoming a leading national law firm whilst still retaining a strong regional emphasis.
This will be the firm’s first new office opening since it established a presence in Leeds in January 2012. Gateley’s Leeds office started with two partners, has since grown to a nine partner practice with more than 40 staff and is well on its way to becoming a full- service offering.
Christopher Avery started his legal career as a commercial property lawyer and soon became the managing partner of Pitmans at the age of 31. During his 36 years with the firm the business grew from 25 to over 200 staff with a fee income in excess of £20m.
Commenting on Christopher’s appointment, Michael Ward, Gateley Plc’s CEO said: “Christopher has been appointed to help us develop a full-service commercial practice in the highly strategic Thames Valley/M4 corridor which is a large and growing centre for legal services. He is well known in the Thames Valley and has the right combination of experience and entrepreneurial spirit to help us deliver our objectives.
“We indicated at the time of IPO that whilst we had a fully invested UK network of offices we would consider opportunities in one or two other geographical locations if the right opportunity presented itself and Reading is such an opportunity.”
Christopher Avery added: “I am delighted to be joining Gateley Plc at such an exciting time in the firm’s development. I have lived and worked in the area for all of my professional career and know the Thames Valley market well. I have been impressed with the attitude, ambition and professionalism of the Gateley team and believe together the prospects for this new venture are extremely promising.”
The opening of an office in Reading comes on the back of an exceptional year for Gateley Plc which became the first UK commercial law firm admitted to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in June 2015.