Sean Gates is “a pre-eminent figure” in the aviation sector where he is “extremely well respected” for his leading work on the contentious side. He has exceptional experience in aviation disaster cases.
Mr Gates is an aviation lawyer whose clients include airlines, airports, ground handlers, financiers, manufacturers and their insurers. He has advised airlines and their insurers on the management of more than 50 international aviation disasters through his career. He founded Gates and Partners in 2003, which employed 60 lawyers specialising in various aspects of aviation law, with offices in five jurisdictions worldwide.
From 1998 to 2013, Mr Gates was the legal adviser to the International Union of Aviation Insurers (IUAI), representing it at the diplomatic conferences resulting in the Montreal Conventions of 1999 regarding passenger liability and 2013 in respect of Surface Damage. He has also represented the IUAI in meetings discussing changes to the Tokyo Convention on Offences Committed on Board Aircraft 1963.
Mr Gates is CEO of Gates Aviation Ltd, specialising in risk, disaster, dispute resolution, business resilience and safety management. He is also director of Latimer Vintners Ltd; senior vice president of legal affairs at Kenyon International Emergency Services; legal adviser of the European Regions Airlines Association; a member of the legal advisory committee of the Flight Safety Foundation; and an arbitrator registered of the London Centre for International Arbitration and the Shanghai Dispute Resolution Centre. Mr Gates’ current projects include arbitrating a lease finance dispute as sole ICC arbitrator, disaster response advice for a major Chinese manufacturer, managing international liability claims for a European aerospace manufacturer, advising on issues arising from fatal accidents involving an aircraft and a helicopter, and assisting a European airline legal department to plan for their role following an accident.