Lesley Delaney Hawkins is a partner, Chair of the firm’s Restaurant and Hospitality industry group, and a member of the Prince Lobel Real Estate practice group.

Lesley brings nearly ten years of experience in licensing, permitting, and zoning law with a concentration on cannabis and alcoholic beverage licensing and commercial and residential development. Her commitment to understanding the nuances of both the private and public sectors has helped her develop a unique perspective to address the challenges and needs of business and government stakeholders. In private practice she has enjoyed representing and guiding clients throughout the regulatory process.  For the public sector, she served the City of Boston as the Executive Secretary and General Counsel to the Boston Cannabis Board (the “BCB”) and the Licensing Board for the City of Boston (the “Board”). Lesley brings significant experience in successfully advising clients and regulatory authorities, and she has a demonstrated ability to identify and apply creative solutions to existing and perceived roadblocks to businesses throughout Boston and the Commonwealth.

As Executive Secretary and General Counsel to the BCB since its implementation, Lesley developed and implemented the licensing process the city uses to award licenses to and regulate cannabis establishments. She drafted and secured approval of the inaugural Rules and Regulations of the BCB, and advised the commissioners on amendments to the same as the cannabis industry develops, including the transferability of licenses and the regulatory requirements of cannabis delivery licenses. Lesley worked closely with her counterparts at the Cannabis Control Commission and spearheaded a working group of cannabis licensing and regulatory authorities representing municipalities in greater Boston to share experiences and best practices.

As the Executive Secretary and General Counsel to the Board for the last five years, Lesley provided legal support and guidance to the commissioners on all licensing issues related to liquor, food, lodging house, dormitory, and hotel licenses. Lesley has represented the Board before the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, successfully upholding numerous decisions made by the Board on appeal including both transactional and disciplinary decisions. During the pandemic, Lesley was a driving force behind outdoor dining and a safe reopening in Boston, and worked closely with the administration and senior leaders across numerous departments. Lesley regularly authored advisories to other departments as well as to licensees, providing a clear, accessible interpretation of the changing guidance issued by the Commonwealth.

Lesley worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, District and At-Large City Councilors, and other elected officials to provide insight into the licensing and permitting processes. She has routinely spoken at community meetings in neighborhoods throughout Boston to explain these processes, answer questions, and elicit feedback from residents.

Previously, Lesley practiced licensing, permitting, and zoning for a boutique Boston law firm representing clients in these matters before authorities in Boston and across the Commonwealth. Prior to law school, Lesley served in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services under then-Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and subsequently as an aide to Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone.

She remains active in Boston politics and volunteers with local organizations, most recently being named to the Board of Directors of CommonWealth Kitchen. Lesley lives in Dorchester with her partner, Peter, his two children, and their rescue dog.



  • J.D., American University, Washington College of Law
  • B.A., UMass Boston, political science

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts