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Will Bates is an Associate Solicitor in the Disputes team at LCF Law.

Will has experience of acting in a wide range of commercial litigation matters. He has acted in many large value and high profile and disputes, with some of the cases reported in the national media.

Will has experience of resolving disputes at a pre-action stage by way of negotiation, at mediation or, if necessary, within court proceedings. Will also has experience of resolving matters which go to arbitration.

A priority for Will is to ensure that any legal advice prioritises the client’s needs and the practical realities of the situation. He does this by ensuring he looks at the bigger picture from the client’s perspective.

Will says that one of the things he enjoys most about his job is the opportunity to learn about discrete - and sometimes unusual – subjects, from how a business in a certain industry works, to how Japanese Knotweed grows.

Matters in which Will Bates has advised:

  • Regularly advises commercial clients in contractual disputes of different types.
  • Regularly represents parties involved in company disputes. He has, for example, acted in large 6-figure shareholder disputes.
  • Has represented a client in a professional negligence claim, brought against solicitors who provided negligent advice relating to a portfolio of properties (which significantly affected their value). The headline value of this claim was 8 figures and it settled at mediation.
  • Has represented a well-known charity in a proprietary estoppel matter, contesting a multi-million pound claim against the relevant estate. Will’s client successfully settled the matter at mediation.
  • Has represented a client in their claim for misrepresentation, relating to a seller erroneously stating that a property was not affected by Japanese Knotweed. A settlement was successfully procured at the pre-action stage.
  • Has represented clients who ran a restaurant in a claim which was made against them for passing off. Will was instructed at a late stage and successfully procured relief from sanction and the transfer of proceedings to IPEC. The matter settled at mediation after the case management hearing.

Will also has a particular interest in sport. Before joining LCF, Will gained 5 years’ experience as a Commercial and Sports Litigation solicitor. Will has represented:

  • Premier League, EFL and National League clubs in a wide variety of disputes (e.g., in relation to sponsorship agreements, contractor disputes and property disputes, to name just a few).
  • Premier League football clubs in various proceedings brought by the FA against them and/or their players (e.g., in relation to the club’s alleged breach of a duty of good faith, an allegation of racism against one of their players and an allegation relating to a player’s betting activity).
  • An EFL football club in relation to the curtailment of the 2019/20 football – and potential consequences for promotion and relegation - which occurred due to Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Will was instructed again by the same club to act for them in their pursuit of a significant claim, under their business interruption insurance held with a leading insurer, relating to their losses arising from Covid-19 disruptions.
  • Various parties (including a football league and a county FA) in FA Rule K arbitrations. One of Will’s highlights was to resolve one of these matters, successfully for his client, at a hearing at Wembley stadium.
  • A professional cycling team in a dispute with a sponsor, which had potential implications on the team’s ability to secure UCI accreditation.

A lot of Will’s spare time is also dedicated to sport; he plays and coaches at Harrogate Cricket Club. However, also enjoys socialising, reading, travelling, and going into the Yorkshire Dales.