Nick Hawkins

What he’s best at:

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.

Who he works for:

All types of companies, large and small but with particular niche specialisms in:


“ In our substantial seven-figures sale deal, I discovered that Nick Hawkins is exactly the kind of corporate lawyer we needed. Nick is always approachable, enthusiastic and upbeat. Crucially for us, he and gunnerCooke were able to react quickly and effectively to unexpected developments, both in the UK and involving those overseas, and give us timely, and correct, advice. All of the complexities of the deal were handled in a way which not only impressed my team, but also the purchasers' (an S & P 500 leading services firm) business and legal teams, as they openly said, and their external lawyers. Most importantly, Nick was instantly available whenever I needed him, either by phone or email, to give me the answers and advice I needed, and the fixed fee quote was a saving on big law firms because of gunnercooke's lower overheads. I would strongly recommend Nick Hawkins to other CEO's and businesses.” – James Hall, CEO.

Practice Areas

Key Achievements


Regular contributions over many years to many trade, legal and regulatory publications. In recent years featured profile in 2015 in “Leeds and Yorkshire Lawyer” and specialist trade press column, 2008-2012


Legal Career:

Previous Businesses:



"Nick is always approachable, enthusiastic and upbeat. Crucially for us, he and gunnercooke were able to react quickly and effectively to unexpected developments" – James Hall, CEO.

Recent awards