Listed law firm Gateley has appointed a new Leeds head, replacing the man who founded the office in 2012.

Commercial dispute resolution (CDR) partner Andrew Johnson takes over from restructuring partner William Ballmann, who is reducing his commitments ahead of retirement in 2020.

Johnson has more than 15 years’ experience in handling commercial disputes, particularly dealing with issues arising out of corporate transactions, complex projects, trading contracts and property related agreements.

Ballmann established the Leeds office in January 2012 with five members of staff and a trainee.  There are now 96 staff employed at the firm’s Minerva House premises, including 16 partners.

William Ballmann said: “I am very proud to have been at the helm of Gateley Plc in Leeds since our launch in 2012 and overseeing our ambitious growth. From starting out with just five people plus a trainee six years ago, we now provide a full-service offering to the Yorkshire region and beyond. I’m delighted to be handing over to Andrew who has played a key role in our growth in recent years.”

Andrew Johnson added: “I am very proud and excited to be taking on this new role as head of the Leeds office. Taking over from William is a great honour as he’s done a truly fantastic job at building our team here. He has made a huge contribution to the rapid expansion that we’ve experienced whilst maintaining a great atmosphere and spirit amongst the team.

“Thanks to his collaborative leadership, our Leeds office is now positioned to advise clients on the growing opportunities in Yorkshire and beyond, and I am very much looking forward to further developing the office and building on the success that we’ve seen these past six years.”

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