Sean Gates is a qualified English solicitor who has spent many years working in the aviation legal arena, including as senior partner of Beaumont and Son, and Gates and Partners. He is now the CEO of Gates Aviation Limited, which provides a range of services to aviation interests in the areas of safety, security and legal advice.

As legal adviser to the International Union of Aviation Insurers (IUAI) from 1998 to 2014, Mr Gates represented the IUAI at the diplomatic conferences giving rise to the Montreal Convention on surface damage, in 2009, and on passenger liability, in 1999, and in the 2013 legal committee meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization reviewing the Tokyo Convention on Offences Committed on Board Aircraft 1963. Mr Gates is chairman of Gates Aviation Ltd, which provides international legal, risk management, safety and security advice and support to a range of industries. He is also the legal adviser to the British Air Transport Association and the European Regions Airlines Association, and to Kenyon International Emergency Services Inc.

Mr Gates specialises in aerospace insurance, reinsurance and liability issues including disaster management and preparedness, and insurance coverage and policy issues. He has acted for airlines and their insurers as lead counsel in respect of numerous aviation disasters, and regularly represents international carriers and their insurers on a variety of issues. He is currently heavily engaged in significant product liability claims for and against aviation manufacturers; the provision of legal disaster risk management to a substantial Chinese manufacturer; and continues to work with British Airways on disaster response matters.