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Andrew Peddie, Gateley Legal: We should probably have learned by now to expect the unexpected

By TBM Team
25 October 2021
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The Thames Valley Deals Awards 2021, organised by The Business Magazine, brings together corporate finance advisors, lawyers, bankers, private equity investors, accountants, and funding specialists – plus of course the management teams that have led the deals themselves. The event could not take place without the support of our sponsors, such as law firm Gateley Legal. We spoke with Andrew Peddie, Partner and Office Head for Gateley Legal in Reading, on the company's decision to be involved in picking the best of the best in the region, what it is one should look for in a winner for the Thames Valley Deals Awards, and what the general trends in the sector are.

What motivated you, as a company, to sponsor the Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year award?

We are actively involved in the Thames Valley dealmaking community. It was, therefore, a natural choice to sponsor the region’s premier Corporate Finance individual, chosen from those people we work alongside. Gateley have sponsored this award for the last five years, since we established an office in Reading.

What does it take to be a successful corporate finance adviser in the current financial climate?

The best corporate finance advisers are able to drive a deal forward for their clients using their deal-making experience, financial acumen, and market awareness. Ultimately, they are always focused above all on their clients’ best interests and on how to achieve that in the context of the deal process.

How did you, as a company, navigate the challenges the pandemic posed to your sector during this financial year?

While corporate (and property) transaction work is a large part of what we do, as a full-service legal and professional services group we are also diversified into non-transactional areas of legal practice such as dispute resolution, business recovery advice, and employment law, among others. In the first instance, it was expected that these might come to the fore when the pandemic first struck, but in the event, transaction work has continued to flow very strongly indeed after the first couple of months of uncertainty, as everyone in our market will know. We have recruited and adapted to new working practices as a team, but of course, that has raised new challenges in turn. 

What have been the overall financial trends in your sector in the Thames Valley region this year?

It is encouraging to see the M&A market continue to recover from the pandemic with an increase in deal volumes and value over the period.

How have they differed from the previous year and what are your expectations for 2022/2023?

There has been more confidence in the market so far this year despite the continued Covid disruption, but it remains to be seen what effect the current issues in the wider economy around fuel, energy costs, end of furlough and other challenges have on the M&A market in the longer term. We should probably have learned by now to expect the unexpected.