Professor David Yates, former Chief Operating Officer of the law firm Baker & MacKenzie, has been appointed as the new Chairman of The College of Law’s Board of Governors.
Prof Yates is Warden of Robinson College and a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge and also an Honorary Fellow of St. Catherine’s College, Oxford and a long-term Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Sydney.
He takes over the role of Chairman of the Governors at The College of Law from Charles Plant, who stepped down following his appointment as Chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board which commences in January.
Professor David Yates
Prof Yates, who has been a Governor of the College since 2001, is a solicitor and a US Attorney-at-Law and holds degrees from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He has held appointments in the Universities of Hull, Bristol and Manchester in the UK as well as visiting professorships at a number of overseas universities in the United States, Canada, Asia, Australia and Continental Europe.
He was Foundation Professor of Law, Dean of the School of Law and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex before joining Baker & McKenzie in 1987. He became a partner in the firm in 1991 and was the Director of Strategic Planning and Development, followed by a period as global Chief Operating Officer based in Chicago before his retirement from legal practice at the end of 2001.
He has published extensively on a variety of theoretical and technical legal topics and is the author of several books. He has been a member of the Council of the Law Society of England and Wales where, among other committee roles, he chaired the Legal Practice Course Board.
Prof Yates continues to teach and write on legal topics, training and law firm management issues, in various jurisdictions and universities around the world and is on the Advisory Board of the University of California Orientation in American Law Program and is an Advisory Committee member of the American Institute for Law Training Within the Office. He is also an honorary member of the Chicago Bar Association.
Commenting on his appointment Prof Yates said: “The College has an unshakeable commitment to quality and standards and is at the forefront of excellence within the legal education field in the UK, providing training and support to lawyers at all stages of their career. The College and legal education in general faces many threats and I look forward to assisting in addressing those issues not least the need to restore a more robust regulatory environment to meet the challenges of the market."
Chief Executive Nigel Savage said “David’s huge experience in global legal education and practice will underpin our strategic development in the next few years. Recent events have underlined the strength of the College’s business model in serving the twin objectives of the legal profession and our charitable objectives and David’s appointment will consolidate that strength."