About Us

Experts in the craft of Private Investigation

Research Associates is an elite private intelligence and security provider based out of London that offers bespoke, pragmatic solutions to clients throughout the UK and most of the rest of the world. Established in 1977, over 40 years Research Associates has earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious private investigation agencies in the world, operated by professional security consultants and investigators of long standing, and staffed by personnel with a proven professional history, typically with former Armed Forces, HM Customs or Police backgrounds. All personnel are Security Industry Authority (SIA) qualified in all relevant fields.

The principals of Research Associates are Paul Hawkes and Martin Tomlins-Young. During their prolific careers, they have both progressively acquired a comprehensive range of well placed contacts, industry knowledge, techniques and resources; having been involved in numerous assignments, both worldwide and in the UK – see full profiles below.

Since first established in August 1977, Research Associates has planned and performed hundreds of highly focused security operations and investigative projects for a variety of clients, ranging from government offices, multi-national companies, large and small legal firms, entrepreneurs, private individuals, families and SMBs. The majority of our core business originates from private clients referred via professional contacts within the legal profession. Simply put: we are trustworthy and proficient in our approach to both security and investigation.

Case Management

Research Associates always assign a project manager whose responsibility will be to discern and fully understand the needs and expectations of each client, from instruction through to completion. It is normal to receive a full written report of all findings. The project manager liaises with the client for regular two-way consultation sessions relating to ongoing projects/cases.

Both Local and International Capability

Research Associates operates both nationally and internationally without compromise to the high quality of service our clients have enjoyed for more than 40 years. All directors are full members of the Association of British Investigators (ABI). The Association of British Investigators is endorsed by The Law Society of England & Wales and the service provider scheme for The Law Society of Scotland. Membership of the Association of British Investigators, the only professional investigations association fully recognised by the government, officially endorsed by the legal profession, requiring a clear Criminal Conviction Certificate (renewable every two years), Financial Propriety, Professional Indemnity Insurance and Data Protection Notification with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as well as sitting before the ABI‘s Board of Examination selection panel to demonstrate procedural competence & professionalism. Our principal has been nominated for the Association of British Investigators’ esteemed ‘Investigator of The Year’ in both in 2010 and 2013.

Research Associates’ principal, Paul Hawkes, is also a member of the prestigious World Association of Detectives (WAD), the World Association of Private Investigators (WAPI),the Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI) as well as the British and European Polygraph Association (BEPA). Research Associates are the sole agents for the British and European Polygraph Association, throughout London and cover the whole of the EEC (Europe). Research Associates has built an unrivalled portfolio of contacts since 1977 and prides itself in offering no-nonsense, straight talking legal research, security and intelligence services to our clients.

UK Team

Paul Hawkes is a relatively unusual detective in that he has spent most of his working life a legal investigator and is now seen as an accomplished veteran investigator. From a finance background, he initially established himself as a professional investigator within the UK investigation industry in August 1977, soon developing a specialty in crisis management, complex ‘locates’ (finding missing people) worldwide as well as covert surveillance services. During his prolific career, Paul Hawkes has progressively acquired a comprehensive range of well placed contacts, industry knowledge, techniques and resources; having been involved in numerous security assignments and projects spanning the globe.

During the 1980’s and mid 1990’s Paul Hawkes became a ‘go to’ asset investigator both within ans outside the UK investigation industry, developing a specific specialisation in worldwide asset identification and location, as well as providing strategic investigative information, running assignments and projects worldwide. During the 1980’s and mid to late 1990’s he acted near exclusively to legal and investigative firms and later to select private individuals and government; regularly working on high profile cases in the international arena. He now has a reputation for his ability to understand and be percipient to client’s requirements and for discreetly getting the job done. With so many decades of experience, Paul Hawkes very much lives and breathes as a intelligence and forensic professional.

‘Discreet Projects and Assignments’

Paul Hawkes also managed and ran a renowned but very private research agency working out of Liechtenstein during the 1980’s and 1990’s, later redeveloping Research Associates into one of the UK’s premier ‘full service agencies’ subsequent to the changes in UK and worldwide legislation during the late 1990’s. Both Paul Hawkes and Research Associates have been the subject of numerous low-key articles appearing in the international and UK press; including The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

In the public domain, Paul Hawkes is well documented being involved in investigations into numerous high profile matrimonial matters, strategic covert surveillance, as well as fraud cases involving multi-million pound losses, where retrieval of funds were high on the agenda. These include Polly Peck –Asil Nadir, the Brinks Mat Gold Robbery; identifying funds sequestrated by the UK Government during the 1980‘s NUM Miners Strike, and during the Gulf War helped identify funds held by correspondent banks in London by Rafidian Bank of Iraq and Rasheed Bank of Iraq. Paul Hawkes also initiated the original focused investigation into Harold Brown(Diana, Princess of Wales‘ butler), which led directly to the police investigation and subsequent arrest of former Royal butlers, Harold Brown and Paul Burrell. He was also lead investigator, working in both the UK and South Africa in the infamous Bruce Grobbelaar libel case involving the Sun Newspaper (please note that all the aforementioned cases appear in the public domain). Numerous prominent private clients remain forever anonymous and confidential. Paul Hawkes is renowned for his consistent discretion and sensitivity in all matters.

Currently the senior partner of ‘Research Associates‘, a full service agency offering high spec’ investigative assistance to select clientele worldwide; Paul Hawkes is a longstanding full member in good standing of the Association of British Investigators (ABI) and regularly sits on the ABI’s board of examination, as well as occupying other branch positions. In 2010, Paul Hawkeswas nominated for the Association of British Investigators‘ prestigious ‘Investigator of The Year; this honour was repeated in the ABI’s centenary year, 2013. Paul Hawkes has also been nominated as ‘Investigator of the Year 2014′ with the influential World Association of Detectives (WAD). Paul Hawkes is a past member of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) and a full member of the Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI), a longstanding full member of the elite World Association Detectives (WAD) and member of the British and European Polygraph Association (BEPA), The National Association of Investigative Specialists (NAIS), as well as an Associate of Internationale Kommission der Detektiv-Verb-nde.

Paul Hawkes holds a clear Criminal Conviction Certificate, Clear, dated 8 December 2011(Disclosure No 110100104588132). This certificate is renewed every three years, as part of the Association of British Investigators (ABI’s) self regulating criteria.

Paul Hawkes authored a series of articles originally written as ‘Insider’ for ‘Information Security Management‘ magazine, during 2001/2002. He has given numerous talks on the art and logics of investigation; including a recorded lecture entitled ‘Secret Lives’ for the Wellcome Foundation, within ‘The Identity Project’ presented within a major exhibition hosted by ‘The Wellcome Collection‘ in January 2010. Having studied extensively.

Paul Hawkes has a multifaceted understanding of counselling and anger management skills, and was instrumental in helping establish the British Association of Anger Management (BAAM).

Paul Hawkes is a fully trained scuba diver/open water diver; Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certified. He is also a certified co-leader in The ManKind Project(MKP), a progressive worldwide leadership-training organisation and has co-led numerous intensive MKP trainings throughout the UK, Europe, North America, and Africa. In 2004, he wonThe ManKind Project’s prestigious ‘Ron Hering Mission of Service Award’. In 2010 Paul Hawkes co-founded ‘Journeyman UK‘ (Journeyman Mentoring Network Ltd), an affiliate chapter of the international ‘Boys To Men Mentoring Network‘, a unique education charity and community based mentoring network, “supporting boys and young men to become the adults they want to be”.

Paul Hawkes studied mixed martial arts for over four decades (Judo, Fanchento Kung Fu and Kickboxing).

Paul Hawkes is well known by his peers and clients alike, as a trustworthy, straight speaking, intuitive and impartial investigator with an innate ability to understand the fundamental overview of often-complex situations. Paul typically presents clients with perceptive, focused and pragmatic resolution to the most difficult of situations and has a reputation for “pulling the rabbit out of the hat”.

Martin Tomlins-Young first established himself as a professional investigator within the UK investigation industry in September 1994, from a primarily corporate research background. Two years later in 1996 after developing a specialty of locating missing persons, initially within the UK and later internationally, Martin Tomlins-Young joined Research Associates. Over the following decade Martin proved himself as being unusually adept at both finding individuals (however complex or challenging the presenting situation) and creating in-depth background reports. He assisted in numerous cases for American Express, supporting their legal team specifically on international fraud and ‘locate’ matters initiated within the UK and Europe.

‘In Depth Researching’

Over the past two decades, Martin Tomlins-Young also set up sophisticated systems for the focused investigation of ‘birth relatives’ (locating birth parents, birth siblings or children) as well as those involved with adoption and other complex locates. After becoming the director ofResearch Associates in 2002, Martin Tomlins-Young extended his expertise to include the high-end surveillance, profiling and intelligence research for which both he and Research Associates are renowned.

Currently a director, and acting as a partner within ‘Research Associates‘; a full service security agency offering high spec investigative assistance to select clientele worldwide; Martin Tomlins-Young is a current full member in good standing of The Association of British Investigators(ABI), as well as an Associate of Internationale Kommission der Detektiv-Verb-nde.

Martin Tomlins-Young holds a clear Criminal Conviction Certificate, Clear, dated 29 August 2014 (Disclosure No 200000003049443). This certificate is renewed every three years as part of the Association of British Investigators (ABI’s) self regulating criteria.

Martin Tomlins-Young is a tenacious and lateral thinking puzzle solver -“always looking for a result” and happy to look at the fine details of a complex situation. Martin Tomlins-Youngtypically offers clients resolution to their presenting situation, often using both clever and knowledgeable approaches to difficult, complicated or seemingly impossible matters.