News release

SRA says: historic first plc is a way forward

The creation of the first legal plc in England shows a new way forward in opening up the market through flexible regulatory practice, says the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Gateley Plc raised £30 million last month when it was admitted to trading its shares on AIM, London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing companies. The SRA supported the Gateley Plc bid by tailoring its approach to account for the risks and concerns associated with this new type of public ownership, and assured standards by advising on the systems and controls needed as a Plc.

Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: "Innovation is an important driver of growth in the legal sector. It is good to see the emergence of new business models bringing investment into the sector. Our work with Gateley Plc on their flotation is part of our commitment to freeing up firms to do business, supporting competition and development."

Andrew Evans, Partner at Gateley Plc added: “We started working with the SRA early on in the process as we were both walking some novel pathways, and the floatation involved some tricky issues around the interaction of the Legal Services Act and the Code of Conduct.

"The SRA was very helpful and engaged fully with us in working through and resolving these issues, particularly in working within the tight deadlines, short timescales and changing landscape that the floatation sometimes involved.”

Gateley Plc employs more than 380 solicitors in England and Dubai. The Legal Services Act 2007 helped bring about this UK-first as it allowed for the creation of alternative business structures (ABSs) and the opportunity to generate investment in the sector.

 
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