Schillings picks up Bates’ claim for £2m settlement against Chelsea FC

Niche firm Schillings has won former Chelsea Football Club chairman Ken Bates as a new client.

The firm is acting for Bates on his £2m claim, released last Wednesday (March 10), against the club following his resignation as chairman.

Schillings got the work through a referral from Mark Taylor, of Mark Taylor & Co, a former Chelsea non-executive director who looked after Bates’ legal affairs before Bates resigned.

Bates is seeking a £2m settlement for what he claims is a breach of the contract he signed last summer following the takeover of Chelsea by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Bates received £17m in shares and signed a two-year deal to stay on as chairman, but is claiming his contract with the new owner was breached because he was marginalised under the new management.

The club is reported to have offered Bates a £1m settlement, but the former chairman believes that, under his agreement with Abramovich, he is due twice that amount.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom London managing partner and Abramovich’s long-term legal adviser Bruce Buck was installed as chairman of Chelsea’s parent company, and Peter Kenyon from Manchester United became chief executive, leading Bates to claim his position as chairman of the club had become nominal.

Schillings declined to comment.