Gates & Partners secures BA litigation work

Niche aviation firm Gates & Partners has won all of British Airways’ (BA) insurance litigation work after it fought off competition from Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Beaumont and Son – the firm that Gates originally broke away from.

Sean Gates, the former senior partner at Beaumonts, established the niche firm in November with fellow partners Daniel Soffin and Adosh Chatrath, after what is understood to be a disagreement over Beaumonts’ strategy.

At the time, Gates and Soffin are believed to have taken some BA work with them. However, the airline giant then put all its insurance liability work out to tender in January and last month appointed Gates & Partners as its sole adviser.

The firm, which also signed an alliance with Holman Fenwick & Willan last year, has been growing rapidly since its launch.

It is shortly to take on two new partners: Paul Freeman, another former Beaumonts partner, who has his own aviation practice in Australia, and John Korzeniowski, a barrister and solicitor who is a partner at aviation specialists Thomas Cooper & Stibbard.

Gates declined to comment on the BA tender, saying he was “happy with the way the firm had grown to date”.

Gates has a high profile in the aviation industry. He is involved in advising airlines in the worldwide deep vein thrombosis litigation. As legal adviser to the International Union of Aviation Insurers, he is participating in meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organisation on proposed replacement for surface damage.

A BA spokesperson confirmed it had conducted a review and said the company looked forward to working with Gates & Partners.

Beaumonts and Barlows declined to comment.