John Gates

Of Counsel
P 801.322.9150 | F 801.363.0400
Spencer Fane attorney John Gates


John Gates represents many of Utah’s most successful and long-standing businesses and individuals as a trusted and highly sought-after Utah business and estate planning lawyer.

His practice primarily focuses on assisting individuals, families, and businesses in tax and organizational planning for current operations and long-range objectives. This involves the preparation of wills, trusts, and other estate planning documentation and probate and trust administration.

John is experienced in deferred compensation, qualified retirement, and cafeteria plans, as well as the organization and operation of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and their sale, merger, and acquisition. He has also represented medical groups, professional corporations, and medically related businesses.

Additionally, John has a general real estate practice that includes representing clients in purchase, sale, leasing, real estate financing, condominium organization, and planned unit developments.

John is involved in his community and legal professional organizations and has a legacy of successful endeavors that represent and benefit the culture and history of Utah.



  • New York University, 1970 (LLM)
  • University of Michigan Law School, 1965 (J.D.)
  • University of Utah, 1962 (B.A.)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Utah

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Utah

  • Springville Museum of Art, Executive Advisory Board, Chair, 2009-present
  • Salt Lake County Art Collection Committee, 2003-2009
  • Utah Medical Association Foundation, Trustee, 1976-2010
  • Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee & Board of Governors, 2003-2006
  • Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance
    • Advisory Committee, Executive Committee, 2003-2010
    • Chair, Director, Executive Committee, 1989-1997
  • Primary Children’s Medical Center, Deseret Foundation & Holy Cross Hospital Foundation, Deferred Giving Committees, 1984-1994
  • Salt Lake Art Center
    • Advisory Committee, 1996-1999
    • Chair, 1992-1993
    • President, 1990-1992
    • Trustee, 1988-1996
  • Salt Lake City Historical Landmarks Committee
    • Chair, 1991-1993
    • Member, 1988-1995
  • Salt Lake City Zoning Review Committee, 1991-1995
  • Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, Blk 57 Review Committee, 1991-1993
  • Salt Lake City Downtown Design Review Committee, Chair, 1996-1997

  • Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law & Tax Law
  • Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, Salt Lake City, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent
  • Utah Business Magazine, Utah Legal Elite

  • American Bar Association, Tax and Estate Planning Section
  • Utah State Bar Association, Tax and Estate Planning Section