Robert P. Gates

Robert Gates has been a partner of Erskine & Tulley for well over a decade. His practice focuses on four major areas:

  • Real estate transactions
  • Contract review, preparation and negotiation
  • Business organization (corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies)
  • Litigation in real estate, contract and business matters.

Gates has worked with a variety of clients, including credit retail tenants, individual investors, owners of large and small businesses, property owners, brokers and lenders. He helps his clients limit their liability, while also advancing their financial, legal, and other interests.

Clients of Gates have included Alvin B. Chan, Inc., Marcus & Millichap, Colliers International, Barry Slatt Mortgage Company, JENS Corporation, Toyota of California, Huntleigh Development, Inc., Caringello Electric, Cal-Bay Craftsmen, Inc., Wong Properties and numerous small businesses and individual investors.

The success of Gates’ practice comes directly from the sound advice he provides his clients. “Beware of printed forms,” he says. “With computers, printed forms are no longer standard and must be read carefully. And remember — everything is negotiable.”

In addition to his admission to the California bar, Gates is also a licensed real estate broker and has taught seminars for those in the real estate business.

Gates’ pro bono work includes volunteering as a hearing officer for the San Francisco Rent Control Board during the 1980s and in the San Francisco Bar Association’s Volunteer Legal Services Program. From 1984-1986, he served on the California Bar’s Committee on Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations. He has served as a Judge Pro Tem with the San Francisco Superior Court.

Gates received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Occidental College and his law degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Erskine & Tulley, he was a partner at Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft, LLP.

Gates is rated A-V (highest rating) by Martindale-Hubbell.

What clients have to say about Robert P. Gates:

I Have worked with Bob Gates for the past 10 years and he is my “Go to Guy” when it comes to commercial real estate legal needs. Bob is extremely responsive (He answers his own phone), thorough, affordable and one of the hardest working attorneys in the business. You will routinely find him in the office on Saturdays. I recommend him to all my clients who have commercial real estate legal needs, especially those who are purchasing or selling commercial properties as he has developed quite an expertise in that area. I use him for all my own personal and family legal work when it comes to buying and/or selling commercial properties. I look forward to working with him for many years to come”

J.D., real estate broker/developer, San Francisco, California

Bob Gates has been my resource as a commercial leasing professional here in San Francisco. Time upon time, Bob has been responsive and reliable to educate my clients on the nature of commercial real estate leases and purchase contracts. Efficient and ethical Bob Gates is the Attorney to solve questions and bring people together in a “win win” environment.

S.D., real estate broker, San Francisco, California

Dear Bob,

I am pleased to be able to write this letter of testimonial on your excellent counsel on my behalf and that of my various real-estate related entities and businesses.

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for your professionalism, responsiveness to the multiple legal complexities I have hurled your way, your ability to take my multi-tasking approach in various and ongoing real estate related projects and be able to understand it swiftly and then provide me the counsel and advice in such a practical manner that ensures my understanding and keeping me out of harms way. For this I want to THANK YOU!

Your knowledge of law and wisdom has provided me with such confidence that I dare not make a move without seeking your advice first – and all these desired results were within the timeline and budget outlined from our meetings from the onset.

Also, my business associates have thanked me for referring you to them – they as well are truly appreciative and have told me of your approach: easy to work with yet firm and confident about matters of law.


Real Estate Investor in Distressed-Assets / Foreclosures [A.G., Burlingame, CA]

Not only is Bob Gates knowledgeable and experienced in the area of business law, he makes one feel as if they are his only client he gets so personally involved and is such a dedicated professional. He can always be counted on to return a phone call promptly. It’s a secure feeling to know that if he says he’s going to do something, I can forget about it because I know it will get done efficiently and in a timely manner. He will give his best advice but if one decides to go another route, he will support that, short of allowing his client to be irresponsible. I trust him and never question his ethics or honesty. Plus, I enjoy working with him because he’s an engaging and personable individual. Lastly, I’ve been in business for over 38 years and Bob’s charges are probably the fairest and most reasonable I’ve been involved with. I would not hesitate to recommend Bob to anyone seeking a competent and conscientious business attorney.

Dental Practice, San Francisco, California

We hired Robert Gates to help us with a 1031 exchange from an apartment building to a Walgreen leased property in another State.

We had a telephone interview with Mr. Gates as well as other recommended attorneys. We made the right choice in retaining Mr. Gates and have recommended him to others.

Bob was easy to work with, he was always available and responded immediately to all our questions. Bob was not only likeable, but also conscientious and very efficient. Bob consulted with us every step of the way, from the purchase agreement to the close. He did not waste time, his or ours. The Walgreen lease alone was over 170 pages.

We were/are very pleased with the results.
Individual Real Estate Investor-From apartments to commercial property

To whom it may concern:

I am pleased and confident in my recommendation of Robert Gates, Esq., of the firm Erskine and Tulley, PC for legal representation.
Mr. Gates very capably represented our family and Trust; he literally worked days, nights and weekends in our interest, responded to our calls in person within minutes, explained our legal status in understandable terms, and rendered practical solutions to vexing problems. His patience and legal skill led to a satisfactory settlement; I strongly recommend Mr. Gates.

Trustee, Settlement of business estate, San Mateo, California

Bob Gates resolved a complicated estate for me. He was dedicated, responsive, conscientious, thorough in his communication and easy to work. Although it was a difficult case and extended due to other people involved, Bob Gates completed matters with positive results, and on very fair terms. I was very satisfied with our attorney-client relationship and his services, and would recommend him as a good trustworthy lawyer to my close friends.

Widow, San Francisco, California

Telephone: (415) 392-5431