Nick Hawkins

Year of Call: 1991

About Nick

A long-standing employed barrister (1991 call) and former senior public service leader, Nick Hawkins has a unique perspective, drawing on his experience in advocacy, case review, investigations and complaints handling which he is pleased to bring to the independent Bar.

Areas of experience include

• Armed forces (including claims against the Ministry of Defence)
• Boards of Inquiry and Accident Investigations
• Complaints Handling
• Cradle to grave case handling (from initial contact to finalisation in court)
• International advisory work
• Police discipline and other related police matters
• Professional discipline/regulation
• Professional negligence
• Resolving jurisdictional issues
• Sport

Nick is particularly well-versed in cases which sit on the boundary between criminal and civil jurisdiction, or which can be dealt with by two or more jurisdictions or tribunals. As the former Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS Direct (the charging service), co-Chair for the Police/CPS Charging Board and member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Investigative Interviewing Working Group he is passionate about getting cases off on the right foot and seeing them through to a successful conclusion. Nick is also a member of the Private Prosecutors’ Association and the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.  He is a Legally Qualified Chair of Police Misconduct Hearings and is a Lay Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Regulatory Tribunal.

Nick has a reputation for being approachable, hardworking and a “people person”. He explains legal issues in understandable terms and empathises with the situations clients and witnesses find themselves in. He is based in Warwickshire and is happy to travel.

Qualifications and past experience

Nick joined the Royal Navy in 1977 and, after service at sea in the Far East, Falklands, the Caribbean and the Gulf, qualified as a barrister. He has extensive court-martial experience as Judge-Advocate, prosecutor and defence counsel (for all three Services) and set up and led the Naval Prosecuting Authority. Leaving the RN as a Commander in 1999 he spent 15 years as a Chief Crown Prosecutor, mainly in the south of England. Stints as Chief Operating Officer at the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Chief Executive of the Legal Ombudsman concluded a 40-year career in public service.

Nick studied PPE at Lincoln College, Oxford graduating in 1981. He completed an LLM in Sports Law and Practice at De Montfort University in early 2019. He was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth between 2014 and 2019 and has lectured extensively in the UK and abroad.

Outside the office

Nick is married, with two grown-up children, and fills any spare time with travel, watching (and occasionally playing) cricket, walking and hitting the gym as hard as the ageing process allows.