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Birmingham Private Practice Partner Q&A Series - Tom Durrant, Corporate Partner at Gateley Legal

Chloe Matthews Chloe Matthews, Market Insight

Gateley Legal is the legal business at the heart of professional services group Gateley. Founded in Birmingham in 1808, the business has provided commercial legal services to individuals and businesses for over 200 years. In 2015 Gateley was the first commercial UK law firm to list on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market. Since then, a number of other law firms have followed suit.

Tom Durrant leads the national Corporate team at Gateley Legal and is member of Gateley’s Strategic board. He is a highly regarded corporate lawyer who focusses on UK and cross-border acquisitions and disposals, private equity and venture capital transactions. Tom’s clients include international and UK corporates, financial institutions, management teams and entrepreneurs.

What does a post COVID-19 world look like for Gateley?

The current trading environment is full of uncertainties. However, I believe that Gateley is well placed to weather the storm thanks to our stable and experienced management team, a resilient and diversified business model and strong balance sheet. We continue to service our clients to the highest standard and expect to emerge from Covid-19 in a strong position to capitalise on the likely future opportunities to grow our business.

What have been the main challenges for clients in your sector since lockdown?

Covid-19 has impacted all businesses, large and small, and will continue to do so for a considerable amount of time. As business leaders start to look at what life will be like post-lockdown, there are many things for them to consider, and we’re working around the clock to help clients navigate these uncharted waters. This has been borne out in corporate finance: the pandemic has created uncertainty for business owners, buyers and sellers, and investors alike, which initially caused the deal-making market to stop. Deals have begun to move again, but the pace of progress is slower and likely to remain more cautious for the rest of this year. Increased activity will depend on businesses being confident that they will be able to successfully emerge from this crisis, and at the moment it’s too early for many to do that.

What do you envisage being the most challenging aspects of your role for the remainder of 2020?

The continuously changing circumstances surrounding Covid-19 has tested the legal sector, and as the scale of this pandemic’s economic impact unfolds, we’ll need to handle all sorts of crisis and recovery scenarios with flexibility, whilst also planning for the future. It’s critically important that we keep our teams engaged, healthy and productive to ensure clients get the care and quality service they rightly demand.

What are you looking forward to doing most post-lockdown?

Once the lockdown is over, I’m most looking forward to getting together in person with family, friends and colleagues. Teams and Zoom have been useful, but it’s just not the same!