Attorneys Bradford E. Cook

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shareholder | Manchester, NH

Brad is head of the firm’s Estate Planning, Government Relations and Not-for-Profit, and Charitable and Religious Institutions Practice Groups. He is a past President of the firm and has practiced with Sheehan Phinney since 1973. Brad represents many colleges and schools, religious organizations throughout New England, and hospital, nursing home and other charitable and other not-for-profit clients, and practices general corporate law. He writes a regular column, “Cook on Concord,” which appears in the New Hampshire Business Review. As head of the firm’s Estate Planning and Probate Department, Brad counsels clients on drafting estate plans, planning for management of their affairs during retirement, senior living arrangements, and avoiding or minimizing the need for probate. He supervises the other attorneys and paralegals who handle Estate Planning and trust administration and probate of decedents’ estates from all of the firm’s offices. He is a member of the New Hampshire Estate Planning Council.

Key Cases

  • Representing religious groups before the New Hampshire legislature in all matters of concern to them
  • Negotiating labor agreements between faculty/staff and university administration of a private university
  • Advising clients on complex estate planning matters and the appropriate probate or probate avoidance techniques and trust administration
  • Advising a real estate operating company on the sale of a shopping center and doing the regular leasing and regulatory zoning and planning work for it
  • Supervising real estate acquisition, sale and construction matters for a large charitable multi-state entity
  • Negotiating executive compensation agreements for executives of large educational and charitable institutions
  • Forming and providing on-going representation to small to medium-sized businesses
  • Assisting not-for-profit clients with fundraising efforts including negotiating gifts and drafting various kinds of philanthropic giving instruments
  • Providing training on risk management and liability avoidance techniques
  • Probating multi-state complex estates


  • State of New Hampshire
  • Federal Courts
  • New Hampshire and American Bar Associations
  • Diocesan Attorneys Association of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lawyers Association

Civic Involvement

  • Co-Chair, New Hampshire Commission on Voter Confidence
  • Easterseals National Board, Affiliate Relations Committee
  • Advisory Board, University of New Hampshire at Manchester
  • Leadership Manchester
  • Leadership New Hampshire
  • Steering Committee of the New Hampshire Forum on the Future
  • Board of Directors, Canterbury Shaker Village
  • General Counsel and an ex-officio member, Easter Seals New Hampshire and its affiliated entities in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine
  • Chair, N.H. Ballot Law Commission, and served in the 1980s
  • Chair, Warren B. Rudman Center Campaign
  • Secretary, Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, Camp Fatima and Camp Bernadette of the Diocese of Manchester
  • Former President, Manchester Bar Association
  • Chair, Easter Seals New Hampshire, Easter Seals Vermont, Easter Seals New York, the New Hampshire Easter Seals Telethon
  • Secretary, Manchester Airport Authority
  • Chair of Finance Committee, Manchester School Board
  • Chairman, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • Elected Manchester Charter Commissions in 1996 and 2003
  • Delegate to the National Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2003 and 2005


  • New Hampshire 200: The state’s most influential business leaders, New Hampshire Business Review, 2019, 2021
  • 'Lifetime Achievement Award' from the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, 2015
  • Business NH Magazine's "2012 Influencer Index," as a "Political and Nonprofit Maestro.”
  • Good Samaritan Award, Pastoral Counseling Services, 2011
  • New Hampshire Business and Industry Association's Above and Beyond Award, 2008
  • Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, 2001
  • Eugene M. Van Loan III Leadership Award, Easter Seals New Hampshire, 2001
  • National Easter Seals “Volunteer of the Year.”, 2012
  • UNH Alumni Meritorious Service Award, University of New Hampshire, 1980
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2021 Manchester Lawyer of the Year, Non-Profit/Charities Law
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2013 Manchester Lawyer of the Year, Non-Profit/Charities
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Trusts & Estates, Non-Profit/Charities Law