David G. Bates is a shareholder who leads Gunster’s Corporate Law practice. He formerly served on the firm’s board of directors.

David joined the firm in 1992 after graduating from Tulane University with his JD/MBA in 1991. For over 30 years, David has counseled clients in the areas of technology law, venture capital, licensing and distribution, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance and securities. David has represented companies and investors in a wide variety of industries and at all stages of growth, from private start-up ventures to large public companies. David provides strategic counseling on mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings, corporate governance and joint ventures. David also advises clients on technology issues, corporate structuring and restructuring, automobile dealerships, employment non-compete arrangements, securities, franchising and licensing, distribution and other business agreements. David is a multi-year chair of the Palm Beach Tech Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and the Wild Dolphin Project. David is the former multi-term president of the Gold Coast Venture Capital Association and two-term chairman of the Enterprise Development Corporation. David’s honors include being repeatedly named Corporate Lawyer of the Year for West Palm Beach by Best Lawyers in America, as well as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Florida by Florida Super Lawyers. He has been listed among Florida Trend’s Legal Elite for more than 20 consecutive years, and continually recognized in Best Lawyers in America for corporate law, mergers & acquisitions law and technology law.

  • Structured, negotiated and documented mergers and acquisitions and divestitures for public companies and privately held businesses
  • Prepared investment agreements for venture capitalists and angel investors
  • Drafted stock option plans, phantom stock plans and employment agreements
  • Prepared document retention policies
  • Represented high tech companies in connection with licensing agreements and transactions
  • Negotiated and drafted Internet, wireless and technology related agreements
  • Coordinated the expansion of national and international franchisors and franchisees
  • Drafted domestic and international distribution and franchise agreements
  • Advised on settlement negotiations with the Business Software Alliance
  • Negotiated and drafted non-competition and confidentiality agreements
  • Represented movie and television production companies
  • Negotiated and drafted software licensing agreements and hardware purchase agreements
  • Structured, negotiated and documented the purchase and sale of aircraft and yachts
  • AV Preeminent rating as independently determined by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year” in West Palm Beach, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2023
    • Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Technology Law, 2007-21,2023
  • Chambers & Partners, “Leaders in Their Field,” Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity, 2009-22
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-22
    • “Top 100 (South Florida) Lawyers,” 2014
    • “Top 100 Lawyers,” 2012-13
  • Florida Trend, “Legal Elite,” 2004-22; “Hall of Fame” since 2013
  • Palm Beach Illustrated, “Top Lawyers,” Business/Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Capital, 2018 & 2020-22
  • Boca Raton Observer, “Top Lawyers,” 2022
  • Jupiter Magazine, “Top Lawyers,” Business/Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Capital, 2021
  • South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Lawyer, Corporate Law and Technology Law,” 2005-15
  • South Florida Business Journal
    • “Heavy Hitter in Technology,” 2007
    • “Key Partner for Business Law,” 2007
    • Special Report on the Corporate Elite (1 of 15 lawyers featured)
  • Florida Lawyer (featured on cover & in article on client responsiveness), 2000
  • University of Florida
    • “Hall of Fame”
    • “Outstanding Male Leader Award” (Dec. 1987)
  • “Cybersecurity: An Integral Approach” webinar, co-presented with Marcum LLP, April 21, 2016
  • Palm Beach Tech Association, board of directors, 2017
  • Gold Coast Venture Capital Association
    • Chairman, 1996-present
    • Vice president, 1995
  • Enterprise Development Corporation
    • Chair, 2012-13
    • Vice-chair, 2010-12
    • Treasurer, 2009
    • Chair, 2004-06
  • BioFlorida, executive board, 2012
  • Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
    • Director, 2010-14
    • Lifesciences Cluster Committee, chair, 2012-13
  • South Florida Tech Alliance, board member, 2009
  • Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 1999
  • United Jewish Committee National Young Leadership Cabinet

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