Nick Hawkins > gunnercooke LLP > Manchester, England > Lawyer Profile

gunnercooke LLP
M2 4LQ

Work Department





Nick is a Corporate Partner based in Leeds, but also operating regularly from both London and the North West. He is particularly valued by corporate clients for his enthusiastic “Can-do” approach, and his knowledge “at the sharp end” having been a CEO himself, and sat on or advised many Company Boards, and for his accessibility and speed of response.

Nick is a very experienced (37 years’ call) corporate Barrister, who has spent much of his career as an in-house Counsel working at a senior level in PLCs and in smaller companies, as Legal Director or equivalent. In recent years however he has also been a Chief Executive, raising investment for, and running for 3 years, a tech company (spun out from a University). He therefore has a real insight into the kind of practical legal advice which Directors and managers of companies need. He has advised on significant £multi-million M & A matters, Competition Law, and dealt with very significant Due Diligence matters on investment deals.

Nick also has a particular specialism in advising on legislation and the way legislation may be changed, and on regulation and regulatory bodies. In his legal and in-house business career, he has worked on many overseas matters, in the UK, Europe and the US, and as a lawyer in the biggest international firm in the Sultanate of Oman. He has had particular links with the Isle of Man having been on the Board of a Manx Company and with the Channel Islands, including extensive dealings with Jersey legal matters, and Guernsey/Alderney, on banking, financial services, cyber security/IT and gambling, legal and regulatory matters.

He has also had links in the same fields in Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, BVI, Antigua, Bermuda and Cayman Islands. In addition, Nick spent 13 years as a Conservative M.P. In Government, he served on the Front bench teams in the MoD and DNH, and he was then a Shadow Minister in a variety of roles under all the three Opposition leaders 1997-2005. His most senior role was Shadow Solicitor-General.


Previous Law Firms

  • St Philip’s Barristers Chambers (now St Philip’s/Stone Chambers and once 7 Fountain Court, Birmingham, and Albion Place Northampton) (1979–86 and again 2015–16)
  • Chief Executive — Acoustic Sensing Technology (UK) Ltd. (2012–14)
  • Consultant at Spring Law, Covent Garden, 2011–12 and 2014–15
  • Legal Director and Company Secretary, Danoptra Ltd (£165 million UK and international Leisure and Gaming group with many subsidiaries) (2007–11)
  • Law firms in City of London and Sultanate of Oman (2005–07)
  • Conservative MP — (1992–2005) Government Roles 1995–97, Shadow Cabinet 1997–2004, Shadow Solicitor-General 2003
  • Group Legal Adviser, Lloyds Abbey Life plc (in-house Counsel) 1989–92
  • Company Legal Adviser (senior in-house Counsel) Access — (The Joint Credit Card Company Ltd) 1987–89
  • Reuter Simkin Legal Recruitment and then for 3 months McCarthy & Stone in-house Counsel, 1986–87


  • Elected to the Bar Council 1989–95 and on its ‘inner Cabinet’, the GMC, 1993–95.
  • Elected Chairman of in-house Counsel professional body BACFI 1993–94, having been on Committee since 1988.
  • AC I Arb, 1989.
  • Involved with various pro bono and charitable groups, including sitting on Committee of Lords Taverners charity for Yorkshire, and Trustee of Manton Charitable Trust.
  • Business roles have included being Non-Exec Chairman of bidder for radio franchise, adviser to PlusMarket, in the City, Consultant to Building Employers’ Federation (later the Construction Confederation) and later to British Cement Association, and to ukBetting plc-sits on or advises various Boards currently.


  • Bedford Modern School (then Direct-Grant Grammar, now Independent Public School)
  • Lincoln College, University of Oxford, MA (Hons) Jurisprudence
  • Inns of Court School of Law (Bar Finals 2nd Class Hons)


Cricket (playing regularly almost every Sunday in season), rugby union, swimming and other sports, antiques, music, spending time with family and reading.