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Gemma Cowap

She/herLegal Director
It has been an absolute pleasure working with Gemma. She worked tirelessly to make this happen and always in the most approachable, professional yet friendly manner.
Associate Director, UK NDPB

Gemma Cowap is a senior commercial lawyer who has 15 years’ experience in advising a variety of private and public sector clients on an extensive range of commercial contractual matters.

As well as advising a number of household-name companies across a variety of sectors (including sport and retail), Gemma is a member of DLA Piper's Government Contracting practice, having worked on a number of major, high-profile public sector projects over the past 15 years.

Her work in this area has had a particular focus on strategic partnering (including contractual and corporate joint ventures) and the structuring and deployment of models for the delivery of projects, goods and services within Government (including the creation and governance of GovCos).

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


  • Advising a Non-Departmental Public Body on a range of contractual matters of key importance to its operation. Gemma’s work with this client includes advising on the procurement of essential customer contact services, advising on a contract for the procurement of fulfilment services for a secure product that is key to the NDPB’s operation and considering the strategy for the replacement of key IT services as well as other general contractual matters. Gemma has supported this client on its procurement structures and various forms of contract documentation (to include issues in connection with the transfer of services from incumbent service providers).
  • Advising a number of Government Departments on the creation and appropriate governance of various “GovCos” (government owned companies), created for a range of purposes (to include management of land and the in-sourcing of services).
  • Advising a Premier League Football Club on a wide range of commercial contractual arrangements, often requiring fast and innovative approaches to contracting.
  • Advising a group of companies that owns and operates a number of household brand names on a variety of commercial agreements, to include agency arrangements, distribution arrangements and reseller arrangements.
  • Supporting a Government Department with the development of a suite of model contract documentation for use when procuring high value or complex services. This involved working closely with the Department to cosnsider current Government policies and how they should be addressed throughout the contract suite.
  • Advising Cabinet Office on the creation of Shared Services Connected Limited (SSCL) a joint venture between HM Government and Steria. Gemma was involved in drafting and negotiation of the equity (and supporting) documentation with bidders. Gemma also provided support on other elements of the transaction such as assisting with evaluation of the bidders' approach to the equity documentation and assisting with the Business Transfer Agreements, certain Transitional Services arrangements and Novation Agreements. During the course of this project, Gemma was also involved in the development of the Government's model joint venture agreement.
  • Advising Cabinet Office on collaboration arrangements between it and various initial customers of its Debt Management Integrator framework, to ensure appropriate governance and service delivery between the various customers. Gemma drafted the necessary Participation Agreements for Cabinet Office and negotiated these with each of the initial founding customers.
  • Advising on the set-up and investment strategy of a new company, which (supported with a substantial grant from a local authority) will provide business incubator services and proof of concept investment funding to high potential SMEs. Gemma assisted in advising on the structure and set up of the company, advising on the grant funding agreement and documentation that the company will need to function, including governance documentation.
  • Advising an international supplier within the food and beverages sector on the potential restructuring of a group company which provides crucial services to it. This involved the review of a number of highly complex documents in order to ascertain the route for and potential impact of a restructuring.
  • Advising a London Borough on its GBP 1 billion procurement of four pan London frameworks for the multi-supplier delivery of back office services. Advice ranged from the initial structuring of the procurement, to drafting the procurement and contract documentation, running dialogue sessions with bidders across four Lots in parallel and finalising the contract documentation with each of the successful service providers.
  • University of Liverpool, LLB Hons, Law 2:1
  • College of Law, Chester, Legal practice course Distinction, 2005