Mark Hawes


Mark is both a corporate law specialist and a charity law specialist.

He has considerable experience of advising on corporate transactions – particularly in the life sciences and technology sectors. These include mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, IPOs, private equity & venture capital financings and technology spin-outs. His track-record – spanning some 30 years – includes many high-profile and innovative deals, such as a global pharmaceutical company’s first-ever corporate spin-out, and the establishment of the world’s first digital interactive TV platform.

Recently, he has advised a leading university technology-transfer company on its venture capital-backed spin-out deals, a household-name media joint venture on its shareholder financing arrangements, and two UK-based biopharmaceutical companies on the English law aspects of their respective IPOs on the US NASDAQ market, one by way of reverse merger.

Mark is head of Bristows’ charities & not-for-profit practice, in which role he acts for a number of the UK’s pre-eminent professional institutions and learned societies that are dedicated to the advancement of science, engineering and technology. He also acts for many other charities and not-for-profit organisations, ranging from small-scale to national and international organisations promoting such causes as the arts, heritage, medical research, men’s health, consumer safety, animal welfare and ‘responsible investment’. He advises on constitutional and governance issues, including Royal Charter petitions and amendments, mergers, collaborations, acquisitions, reorganisations, charity formations, the establishment of foundations, grants, award and prize schemes, the structuring of investment and trading activities, fundraising, and general compliance with charity law and best practice. He is a member of the Charity Law Association and of the Association of Chairs.

Mark is deputy chair of The Royal Theatrical Support Trust, and architect of its prestigious RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award scheme.


  • LLB, Law, King’s College London
  • Qualified 1986
  • Partner 1996
  • Head of corporate 2002 – 2017
  • Head of charities & not-for-profit since 2010
  • Member of Bristows’ Equality and Diversity Committee

What others say

"The ‘brilliant’ Mark Hawes shows ‘forensic attention to detail and to strategy’" Legal 500 2019
“Mark Hawes is noted for his ‘grace and diplomacy in keeping everyone informed, aligned and chipper" Legal 500 2017
“Life sciences expert Mark Hawes who heads the [Corporate] group acted for Albireo on its NASDAQ listing and its $200m reverse merger with Biodel” Legal 500 2017
Mark Hawes heads the “[charities & not-for-profit]” practice and is ‘exceptionally competent, with a good grasp of both strategy and detail’." Legal 500 2016
"[Corporate] Practice head Mark Hawes acted for UCL Business on the £25m spin-off of Freeline Therapeutics." Legal 500 2016

Recommended For

Charities and Not-for-Profit
Legal 500 2020

Corporate/M&A: smaller deals up to £50m
Legal 500 2019

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology/Corporate
Legal 500 2017