Sven Bates

Sven Bates

Of Counsel
Baker & McKenzie LLP


Sven Bates is Of Counsel for International Trade at Baker McKenzie. He has spent the majority of his career at the Firm's London office, focusing on international trade compliance, trade remedies and anti-bribery. He has also practiced in Amsterdam and has previously worked for the European Commission and the Shadow Attorney General. Sven has extensive experience in particular in the financial services sector, and has undertaken secondments at a Tier 1 UK bank and the Lloyd's insurance market.

Practice Focus

Sven's practice focusses on a comprehensive spectrum of trade compliance areas, including export controls, sanctions, trade remedies, foreign investment rules and anti-bribery. Sven has significant multi-jurisdictional experience in advising in these fields in the context compliance and investigations and broader government engagement. Sven has supported a number of clients in connection with investigations by the UK (and other) authorities and has counselled companies on negotiations with the highest levels of government on approaches to sensitive licensing matters, amending new legislation and international trade remedies.

Sven has also advised extensively on the application of trade compliance and foreign investment rules to global mergers and acquisitions, supporting clients on a full range of pre-acquisition due diligence processes and post-acquisition integration strategies.

Sven's expertise and profile is reflected in the Legal 500, where he is ranked as one of the top 10 lawyers in the City for international trade compliance. Sven is also periodically quoted in the press and is a regular speaker at external events hosted by the Financial Conduct Authority, the British Bankers Association and the London Institute for Banking and Finance, reflecting his recognised experience in the financial services sector in particular.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advising FTSE 100 oil and gas major on negotiation with European Commission and UK Government (including Cabinet Ministers) concerning drafting of EU Iran sanctions.

  • Advising senior executives of leading financial institution on FCA investigation in relation to potential sanctions and regulatory breaches.

  • Advising on the application of the EU Libya sanctions to the release of GBP 1 billion of bank notes to the Libyan National Transitional Council (featured in national press and on front page of The Lawyer).

  • Advising Tier 1 bank on the freezing of high profile Russian assets reported in the national press, together with associated litigation in Russia and negotiation with UK authorities.

  • Advising US multi-national on disclosure of export control violations in UK and Singapore, together with related compliance policies across eight jurisdictions.

  • Advising Japanese conglomerate on development of export control compliance procedures and on related licensing and audits concerning new-build nuclear power plants.

  • Advising leading global private equity fund on full spectrum of compliance aspects to acquisition of portfolio company.

  • Advising on bribery and sanctions aspects to African bond issuance underwritten by Tier 1 investment bank.

  • Advising FTSE 100 company on four year anti-bribery investigation by UK SFO and US DOJ in relation to India, Iran, Oman, Kuwait, US and South Korea.

  • Advising FTSE 100 company on WTO remedies concerning MFN and equal treatment, together with related government engagement strategy.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society, England and Wales - Member


  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (2010)


  • College of Law (LL.B.) (2007)
  • Oxford University (M.A.) (2005)


  • English
  • Co-author, "Brexit Revisited: The New World for Trade Compliance," Baker McKenzie Trade Finance Quarterly, 9 March 2021

  • Quoted extensively in Trade Secrets: Sanctions Edition, Financial Times, 2020

  • Author, "The Customs Union: Myths and Realities," Fabian Review, 2019

  • Author, "The EU and Iran: Another Turn of the Screw," World Exports Review, 2012