Robert Oakley

Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution


  • Thanks for steering us through this process so professionally…it was nice to work with you

    Client feedback

  • Many thanks again for your help, as usual the advice you give is always top notch

    Client feedback 2019

  • Thank you for your time, expertise and support.

    Client feedback 2019

  • “Thank you very much for all of your kind assistance"

    Client feedback 2019

  • Thank you very much for your expert guidance

    Client feedback 2019

  • “We are very grateful for all your assistance which has been a crucial element in dealing with this case"

    Client feedback 2018

  • “I was (and am still) very appreciative of the time, expertise and advice you gave me"

    Client feedback 2018

  • “Many thanks for all your efforts to date. It is really appreciated..."

    Client feedback 2018

  • “I want to thank you and your team very sincerely for all the help and support you gave us through this very difficult time..."

    Client feedback 2017

  • “Thank you - I very much appreciate your expert guidance and the speed with which you acted”

    Client feedback 2017

  • “It was a pleasure working with you...I am pleased with the result - justice done”

    Client feedback 2016

  • “It is good to have worked with you and the wider team; you most certainly deserve your reputation as a leading charity law firm”

    Client feedback 2016

  • “Thank you for your assistance on the project - the excellent outcome speaks for itself”

    Client feedback 2016

  • “Fantastic result and job really well done…thank you for your and your team’s hard work”

    Client feedback 2016


I am Head of Bates Wells’ Dispute Resolution Team. I help commercial organisations, charities, regulatory bodies, and individuals avoid and resolve disputes in a commercially sensitive and pragmatic way.

Mindful of reputational, cost and other relevant considerations, my team and I work closely with our clients to resolve most disputes before proceedings are commenced at Court. But I also represent clients robustly before the High Court, County Court and Higher Courts, in Arbitrations, Adjudications, and other dispute resolution forums, including Mediation. I am also regularly appointed by the Court as a Supervising Solicitor.

Recent projects

  • Procurement Challenges

    I advised a well-known construction company (and other clients) on a number of high value High Court claims against local authorities for breaches of procurement regulations, resulting in substantial settlement payments for our client or the procurements being re-run.

  • Intellectual Property Claims

    I successfully bring and defend claims for injunctions and awards of damages and legal costs in trade mark, passing off, copyright infringement and other intellectual property claims, including for membership bodies, Awarding Organisations and commercial businesses.

  • Governance, Membership and Shareholder Disputes

    I advise the boards and members / shareholders of many organisations in relation to internal governance and external disputes.

  • Fraud and Asset recovery

    I obtain and advise on disputes involving injunctive relief, search and asset freezing orders, delivery up and evidence preservation orders

  • Contested trusts, probate and legacy disputes

    I help resolve legacy disputes which have involved complex intellectual property rights issues, shares in private companies and other challenges to Wills

  • I advise on partnership and Shareholder disputes.
  • I have advised on numerous commercial contractual disputes and grant and other funding related disputes.
  • I help numerous charities and other organisations deal with a range of challenges with regulatory bodies such as the Charity Commission
  • I advise on a range of enforcement options and how best to enforce legal rights.

Qualifications and career

  • East London University BA (Hons) Business Administration
  • College of Law London (CPE/LPC)
  • Admitted as a solicitor, 1999
  • Partner at Bates Wells, 2006

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Member of London Solicitor Litigation Association
  • Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association, Institute of Legacy Management
  • Institute of Legacy Management
  • Parlex Special Interest Group on IP
  • Provider of pro bono advice at a legal advice centre