This week's Pandemic Lawyer of the Week is the founding partner of Gunner Cooke, who has been keeping himself busy dispensing dispensable invaluable advice.

These are strange times, but one of the oddest sights has been lawyers appointing themselves as pandemic life coaches for their staff after years mainly drafting shopping mall contracts. Cooke is no beginner however. He has a book out (‘To innovate or not to innovate’) and produces a blog on leadership.

Freed from the restraining influences of the office environment, Cooke's latest missive begins with an invocation in large, bold, red, underlined letters to "Do more than last the course - be awesome". It was not clear what course Cooke was talking about, but our guess is equine sedatives.

"The third week is the test, the test of discipline", reveals Cooke in the email, "so allow me an indulgence to pass on my thoughts to get through this and come out better". If readers had not already grabbed a strong drink, they would have when they saw that Cooke's first section was headed "Large Thoughts".


"Lockdown idea: use a catapult on your local parakeets. They look exotic, but they're a pest."

RollOnFriday ran Cooke's Large Thoughts through Google Translate.

Large Thought Translation

"Reframe your life and with it each day - life is not as it was so your expectations need to change."

Don't expect a salary rise. Or a salary.

"Your expectations don’t need to be less - they can be more. Why not?"

Obviously they can't be more when it comes to pay. I'm talking about baking bread.

"I spoke to a partner last week who very honestly said that he had always had a very average practice and he wanted to use this time to create a great practice – we are working together on his VTO. He tells me that he is up at 6 30 every morning now excited about what he can create and grateful of the time to do it."

I spoke to a partner last week who knows he's shit and is desperate not to get fired. He was sweating bullets and cried when I let him kiss the ring (on his computer screen).

"If you are finding it hard and find yourself bickering more with your children or with your partner, look to yourself for the answer. Don’t blame them. Only you can make you happy. It is not your partner’s job to do that. Your happiness is your responsibility. No one else can make you happy."

This is directed at my wife.

"Be kind to everyone - now is not the time to seek conflict. Even if it is the BT broadband service that I have just spent 45 minutes on the phone to. Be especially kind."

I burnt down two 5G masts at the weekend. That'll learn them.

"When it comes to business make it more personal than ever. Lots more talking, lots more listening. Instigate the call. Be persistent. Don’t hide behind e mails. Make it personal and caring. And make it processed so you ensure that you talk to everyone."

Nothing says personal and caring like 'processed'. 

"Be disciplined – make it an art form." 

I recommend Japanese rope bondage.

"You won’t get this time again. Appreciate the small things . Be present. Don’t wait to start living."

Seize the moment, but also don't leave your flat.

"I will hopefully send you, before Easter a project that we have been working on for a while, that I hope will get a lot of interest."

A: The coronavirus vaccine 
B: A life size papier-mâché statue of Darryl

"And remember as some past president said  (please someone tell me who ), there is nothing to fear but fear itself."

There is nothing to fear but the contagious disease and the biggest crash since money was invented.

"If you focus on the worst or on uncertainty or on your fear you will get what you reap. Don’t do it."

The virus can smell fear. I am not a doctor.

"It is true that smiling and laughter is more infectious than the covid virus."

Please, I am not a doctor.


Cooke follows up with a list of "Smaller thoughts", about 3,000 of them.

They include a mind-melting visualisation exercise "to make habits reality". "Thinking I am a businesswoman or a runner or I am a writer will help you to think differently", instructs Cooke. "Then think how a businesswoman or a runner or a writer would behave". It is not clear whether disciples are meant to imagine Cooke as a businesswoman or themselves, but one is destined to result in a call to 111.

"I can’t beat the SEALS video in my last blog", writes Cooke, who appears to smash the space bar at random intervals, but, "Make your bed , put on your make – up , make yourself feel good at the beginning of the day and it will continue in to the day."


Sign up.

Cooke also advises his subscribers not to "obsess with the news", and recommends that "5 minutes at the beginning of the day and 5 minutes at the end is sufficient". It means anyone who obeys will spend more time absorbing Cooke's variously-sized thoughts than what's going on in the outside world. A sobering prospect.

But not as sobering as Cooke's Deep Bath. "Make the evenings special", purrs the former head of EMEA private equity at DLA Piper, "– make the house look nice , candles, a bath , make bread , relaxing music”. "Show them how to do it guys", he winks, as you fumble to turn off your ventilator.

RollOnFriday raises a glass, in fact the whole bottle, to Cooke, whose wise words will fill a gap for people who don't already have a well-off baby boomer on their neighbourhood WhatsApp group telling everyone how to live their life while passing on fatal cures for Covid.

If you've spotted a lawyer blossoming in the pandemic, write in.

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 17 April 20 13:53

to be fair, he said "Last the course..."

Which does make sense. Unlike almost everything that follows it.


Anonymous 17 April 20 14:25

A lesson in how to say absolutely nothing of value in as many convoluted ways as possible. Also the title of the next book...

SecularJurist 17 April 20 21:56

The platitudes do seem to be BS in an Alan Partridge way... The same applies to all books written by so-called self-help gurus. They tend to be directed at sales reps and Amway distributors in the main.

Anonymous 20 April 20 22:09

GunnerCooke is not a law firm. It is a legal services hub which makes commission from "eat what you kill' consultants with the moniker "partner" who work from home (look it up on Companies House - it has *3* real partners).

It has had some "partners" who were spectacularly good at social media, like Simon Robinson...oh, wait

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