Bates Wells hires Dentons disputes partner to broaden commercial client base

Tim Constable flags new firm’s advocacy of B Corp certification as driver for move
Tim Constable (far left) and the three other partners in the Bates Wells disputes team, posing outside together

Tim Constable (far left) with his new team

London firm Bates Wells has hired a dispute resolution partner from Dentons as it seeks to grow its commercial client base.

Tim Constable is making the move after more than seven years at Dentons’ London arm and will help his new firm grow its commercial portfolio while continuing to work closely with the third sector.

Bates Wells is best known for its charities expertise and is also a strong advocate of the B Corps certification process, which demonstrates the ethical commitment of businesses to the environment, community and staff. 

Constable said: “The first UK law firm to become a B Corp back in 2017, Bates Wells continues to use the law as a force for good and now counts 92 B Corps as clients. I can’t wait to get stuck into working with my fellow B Corps and also my existing clients who are looking to make themselves a better business.”

Constable’s arrival at Bates Wells provides it with access to a broad and adaptable commercial disputes practice which incorporates corporate disputes and professional negligence claims. 

He is well regarded in the London disputes scene for his commercial approach, practical advice and ability to balance personal charm with professional steel. 

He has litigated in every type of English court and arbitrated in many different institutions, including LCIA, ICC, GAFTA, LMAA and ad hoc arbitrations, adding that important dimension to the firm’s offering to corporate as well as charity clients. 

Head of dispute resolution, Rob Oakley, said: “It’s great to have Tim finally on board as the fourth partner in the Bates Wells dispute resolution team. He brings a wealth of experience and awareness of the commercial business market, both here and internationally, that will fit with our existing client base and help us grow key sectors.

 “A key part of the Bates Wells strategy and our growth plans is a desire to attract partners like Tim. We knew that the only way he would leave his last role would be to join a firm doing law in a very different way, which is why the fit with the Bates Wells team is such a good one.” 

Before joining Dentons in 2016, Constable was head of disputes at Watford firm Matthew Arnold & Baldwin. His banking litigation team acted for high street and investment banks, building up a regional practice that competed with national firms regularly.

He paid tribute to Dentons in a LinkedIn post: “When we held partner meetings, they were, for that moment, the most diverse building on Earth. I also learnt how to make commercial peace in over 30 countries. I will always be very proud of that, as I am of all the amazing people I met.”

A Dentons spokesperson said: “We thank Tim for his contribution and wish him well in his future career.”

The news of Constable's move comes as Obelisk Support announces that it has obtained B Corp certification. Currently 12 legal businesses are certified in the UK, less than 1% of all members.

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