David Yates 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 U.K. as well as continuing to hold visiting professorships at a number of overseas universities in Australia, the United States and Asia. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law in the University of Sydney. 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 as the international firm's Director of Professional Development. He was also a partner in that firm with a practice in general commercial law, international sales and transport law, was the firm’s Director of Strategic Planning and Development, followed by a period before his retirement from legal practice as the Firm’s global Chief Operating Officer (Managing Partner). He is currently the Warden of Robinson College in the University and an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine's College Oxford.
David 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 an Advisory Committee member of the American Institute for Law Training Within the Office. He was also a Governor and Chairman of The College of Law and is a member of the Advisory Board at the Centre for Advanced Legal Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven. He has been a member of the Council of the Law Society of England and Wales, also serving on the Law Society's Training Committee. He chaired the Legal Practice Course Board for some years, as well as the Foreign Lawyer Transfer Casework Committee of the Law Society and has also served as a committee member of the City of London Law Society. He is currently a member of the Education and Training Committee of the Solicitors' Regulation Authority. He is a member of the City of London Solicitors’ Company and a freeman of the city of London.