August 17, 2023

Clark Partington Shareholders Honored in Best Lawyers in America® 2024

Clark Partington is thrilled to announce that three of our exceptional shareholders have been recognized in the prestigious 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.®

Douglas A. Bates, Shareholder, has been acknowledged for the eighth consecutive year in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law. Additionally, he has been honored for the sixth consecutive year in the area of Litigation – Bankruptcy.

Keith L. Bell, Jr., Shareholder and the Managing Partner in Tallahassee, has been acknowledged for the fifth consecutive year in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

Bruce D. Partington, Shareholder and Chair of the General Litigation Department, has been acknowledged for the fourth consecutive year in the field of Construction Law.

The annual accolades from Best Lawyers showcase the finest legal talent across North America, and this recognition is held in high esteem by both clients and legal professionals as a significant and noteworthy honor.

To learn more about Best Lawyer’s methodology and selection process, visit

Douglas A. Bates is a shareholder and AV rated attorney in the Firm’s commercial litigation department. His practice is focused on commercial and real estate litigation, with a large focus on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights cases. He has handled insolvency matters, distressed business situations, and special asset cases across the state of Florida and the United States.

This is Doug’s 10th year to be included in the Florida Super Lawyers List, and, additionally, it is the 2nd consecutive year he has been recognized in the Top 100: Florida Super Lawyers list.

In addition to being selected to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite and Florida Super Lawyers, since 2012 Doug has consistently received recognition and ranking by Chambers USA for his legal knowledge, experience, and client service in the area of “Bankruptcy Restructuring for North and Central Florida.” Doug is also a member of the Clark Partington bankruptcy team that consistently receives recognition by Best Law Firms as Metropolitan Tier 1 Firm in Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization.

Doug is Immediate Past Chair of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar. In 2019, he was recognized as the Section’s Member of the Year, and has proudly served for over 15 years on the Section’s Executive Council. Doug is the President-Elect of Pensacola Sports Board of Directors, and the past President of Pensacola State College Foundation Board of Governors. He also stays active in numerous other local, statewide, and national organizations.

Keith L. Bell, Jr. is a shareholder and Managing Partner of the Firm’s Tallahassee office.  Keith focuses on complex commercial contract and construction litigation, bankruptcy litigation, real estate and title insurance litigation and probate litigation.  He represents national, regional and local financial institutions and title insurance companies as well as individuals and closely held companies in a wide array of litigation and transactional matters.

Keith is an AV rated attorney who has been repeatedly recognized as a Florida Trend Legal Elite and Super Lawyers Rising Star; and he is also an active member of The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section, where he served as chair of the Business Litigation Committee, and the Real Property, Probate & Trust Section.

Bruce D. Partington is a shareholder and Chair of the Firm’s general litigation department. As a Board Certified Construction Lawyer, his practice is largely devoted to this area as well as other commercial, real property, and insurance litigation. Bruce regularly represents those involved with the construction and development process such as private owners and developers, design professionals, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. He is also a Charter Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA), and was served on The Florida Bar’s Construction Law Certification Committee from 2015-2021. Most notably, in 2023, The Florida Bar Construction Law Institute honored Bruce with its “Lifetime Achievement Award,” recognizing him for a lifetime of exemplary dedication and mentoring, and commitment to maintaining the very highest level of professional reputation and integrity.”

Bruce is an AV rated attorney who has been repeatedly named to the Super Lawyers list (18 years) and recognized as Florida Trend Legal Elite. He has also been an active member of the Rotary Club of Pensacola since 1998, and most recently served as the Club’s President. Additionally, in January, Bruce was one of eight Pensacola honorees to be recognized with a 2023 Living the Dream award, an honor presented to select local leaders who carry the torch of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy by sharing his vision and advocating for racial equality.

About Clark Partington:

Clark Partington is a preeminent Gulf Coast regional law Firm, serving the comprehensive legal needs of individuals and businesses as trusted advisors and counsel, with offices in Pensacola, Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and Tallahassee.

We stand on the shoulders of the founders who forged the success of our Firm, we are shaped by our respect for their legacy, and propelled forward by a quiet confidence born of 47 years of excellence.