Construction News

Wed May 18 2022

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Law firm takes over construction consultant

5 days Legal and professional services group Gateley has completed the acquisition of multi-disciplinary construction consultant Smithers Purslow to expand its Property Platform business.

Gateley Smithers Purslow managing director Stephen Fraser was co-owner of the firm before the takeover
Gateley Smithers Purslow managing director Stephen Fraser was co-owner of the firm before the takeover

The £20m deal is Gateley’s largest acquisition to date.

Gately has paid an initial consideration of £12.15m – 56% in shares and 44% in cash.

Smithers Purslow will trade as Gateley Smithers Purslow with all members of the team remaining within the business. Managing director, Stephen Fraser and senior director, Andrew Bussey will join the Gateley Smithers Purslow management board.

Smithers Purslow began as a civil and structural engineering partnership in 1978 based in Oakham and developed as a business working for insurance companies. It soon diversified into employing building surveyors and then architects. In December 2020 it took over Nottingham building surveyor Ainsley Stokes. Today it operates from 10 regional offices across the UK and employs 130 staff. In the year ended 30th September 2021, it made an adjusted profit before tax of £2.5m on revenue of £11.7m.

In 2015 Gateley became the first commercial law firm to float on the London Stock Exchange’s alternative investment market (AIM)growth market. Since then, it has diversified into other fields by bolt-on acquisitions. Gateley lawyers advise on construction, planning, residential development, real estate finance, real estate disputes and real estate investment. Gateley Capitus property tax specialists combine with the built environment consultants within Gateley Vinden and Gateley Hamer to offer a full real estate advisory service.  Gateley’s Property Platform now also includes surveyor Gateley Smithers Purslow, principally serving the insurance industry.

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Stephen Fraser, managing director at Gateley Smithers Purslow, said: “We pride ourselves on providing a first-rate service and being part of Gateley demonstrates we’re a serious player in the industry. The partnership will allow us to enhance our offering even further by attracting and developing the best talent, as well as expanding our geographical presence.

“The combined expertise of our experienced team and Gateley’s robust Property Platform will create an unequalled multi-disciplinary consultancy to assist on technical and legal matters for insurers, their customers and respective advisors.”

Gateley chief executive Rod Waldie said: "Smithers Purslow's growth over the last decade has been impressive and it is a highly regarded market leader in the property insurance claims sector, in which we see a significant opportunity to develop broader and deeper relationships with insurers and insurance intermediaries.  

"The synergies between Smithers Purslow and Gateley Vinden, across a number of their multi-disciplinary service lines, extends the depth of our expertise and provides additional capacity to maximise on the opportunities presented in this sizeable and growing market and the wider built-environment consultancy space.”

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