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Gavin Burrows Private Investigator & Detective

Gavin Burrows is London-based high profile private investigator, consultant and author. In the trade, he is what is known as a “problem fixer”. From newspapers to law firms, celebrities, politicians and even members of the royal family, many have sought his services as his efficacy and discretion have become internationally renowned.

Gavin Burrows Private Investigator Early Life

Born in the seaside town of Brighton on May 18th, 1970 into a privileged family, Burrows was an only child, with his early years often described by himself on radio and podcast interviews as ‘beyond unusual’. In interviews with BBC Radio 4 and in his soon-to-be released biography (with a further two books and a film deal already agreed) Burrows described his relationship with his father as ‘estranged and distant’ and has often mentioned he was ‘a right-wing nutcase’ with a behaviour towards him and his mother that could be considered abusive. His parents had made their fortune from a knitwear factory and a number of shops and expanded into tourism opening the United Kingdom’s first boutique Bed and Breakfast in the village of Grasmere, in the heart of the Lake District. After three years, they sold it to an American investment company for an exuberant profit. Still owners of the knitwear company ‘Nord Craft’, the profit allowed them to move back to Southern England and purchase Wykehurst Place Bolney in West Sussex. The gothic revival mansion had been originally designed by the famous architect Edward Middleton Barry in 1871. The family owned and lived in the mansion and its 150 acres of grounds for over three years before selling to filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan, who was determined to purchase the property.

Under the Burrows’s ownership, the mansion was regularly hired as a filmset for movies and music videos. Burrows always assured that he got a place as an extra in most films and was absorbed by acting (something that he has relied upon heavily in his career as an investigator). His mother had been herself a writer and his uncle was the famous author Arnold Bennett.

Burrows left home aged 15 years old with no academic qualifications. His parents had gone bankrupt in 1986 after a series of bad investments in Canada, leaving him totally cut off financially as his mother could not even afford to give him any money. By his own admission, Burrows became reliant on drugs and, as he had no qualifications, resulted to sell drugs to friends and nightclub goers to make ends meet. He prospered as a dealer and soon he was supplying middle-aged, middle-class individuals and fraternising with the higher echelons of the drug scene. When two of his well-heeled customers were caught red-handed with cocaine supplied by Burrows, they cut a deal with the police which eventually saw Burrows was arrested and sentenced to prison in 1989. As he was only 19 years old and thus a young offender, at the age of 21 and under English Law, his record was wiped clean and has remained so ever since.

Gavin Burrows Private Detective Early Career :

Determined to change his life around and after scraping some cash together, Gavin Burrows opened a shop in the adjacent town to Brighton, Worthing, selling trainers. Influenced by his girlfriend he changed it into a jewellery shop. He even branched out into music management and had some success with Island and EMI and put together some profitable gigs.

It was at this time that Burrows and a friend of his got kidnapped by a mid-level cocaine dealer from Brighton. The kidnapping attracted appeals by the police on radio and television but it was Burrow’s ingenuity which, even after a severe beating that left him fearing for his life, managed to talk his way out and his captors released him and his friend. He swiftly moved with his then girlfriend and young daughter to Cornwall.

In his biography, he openly admits he was very bored. In early 1994, Burrows – who is an avid reader – sought the advice of a multi-millionaire copywriter Stuart Goldsmith, about pursuing a career writing educational courses (Burrows had read his book The Midas Method while in prison). The other career path he was considering was a life-long dream he had from the age of eight: becoming a private investigator (P.I.). A friend’s father was an established P.I. in London UK who, after 25 years was planning to retire. He agreed to teach Burrows the basics of the business and made key introductions that will prove to be very valuable during his first years as an independent investigator.

Gavin burrows Career

When still living in Cornwall, Burrows became friends with a serving private detective sergeant who had spent two years trying to arrest him convinced Burrows was still a big-time drug dealer but eventually realised Burrows had long abandoned any criminal activities. In fact, he was asked by the Southwest Crime Group (now dismantled) to work with them for a few months with undercover police officers. Burrows states he learnt a lot about undercover work and covert surveillance during this time and that loved it. Soon after, and having qualified as a fully trained private investigator and covert surveillance expert with an address book full of contacts, he decided to establish his own Detective Agency and started trading as Gavin Burrows International, incorporated in Switzerland.

Around the same time, he opened another company, Rhodes Associates, which opened an office in Bournemouth in 1995, at the time a town home to many high net-worth individuals. The company became successful very quickly. Over the next couple of years, Burrows realised there was a gap in the P.I. world, that involving high risk and complex organisation and it was in this field that he specialised and developed the best reputation in the market. In 1998, Burrows was introduced by a client to Lloyds of London Underwriting and the then CEO of the bank, as well as to a number of reinsurers in the City of London, who always required investigative due diligence on insurance risk worldwide. By 1999, Burrows had 13 full-time staff and a further 35 subcontractors and had become very established in the world of private investigation. The arrival of Russian oligarchs to the U.K. opened a new source of revenue for his company. In his book Burrows recalls that at this time, he was introduced ‘to very serious people with very serious amounts of money.’

It was around this time that Burrows left the U.K. and based himself in Mallorca. He would commute regularly to meet with clients and keep on top of all the on-going investigations carried out by his company. However, Gavin Burrows thought wise to open a different business to ran high-risk security operations in Africa, Russia and for the Kazakhstan Government and so, in 2000, he founded IIG Associates Investigations Intelligence Group, incorporated in Liechtenstein) and an off-shoot, IIG Europe, incorporated in the Isle of Man. The company was sold in 2005 after much controversy mainly due to the employment of South African mercenaries. After this, Burrows continued to trade as Gavin Burrows International and in 2020, founded another agency, Line of Inquiry, in the heart of the City of London, with officesin several other countries.

By the age of 35, Burrows was one of the best known and and most reputable private investigators in the international arena. He was retained by City of London in UK insurers, foreign owned corporations, the media, high net-worth individuals and even governments. With his company Burrows undertakes up to seven Pro Bono cases a year to assist people who would not be able to afford his services, in particular for criminal cases and suspicious disappearances.

 Media & Press

Burrows has always had a complex relationship with the press. During his first year living in Mallorca, he was introduced to the journalist Nigel Bowden, to whom he helped with a Mail on Sunday investigation on the island with Fleet Street legend Paul Henderson, who became a regular client of Burrow’s regarding high profile stories. His reputation in media rose quickly and soon he was working with Ian Edmonson, then News Editor at the Sunday People and latterly News Editor at News of the World), James Weatherup at the Sunday Mirror, Nick Fielding and Adam Nathan at the Sunday Times, and Rebekah Wade (Brooks) and Geoff Webster, her right-hand man for 20 years. Rebekah Brooks went on to become the CEO of Rupert Murdoch’s U.K newspaper empire. Burrows also worked periodically for Sky News and BBC Panorama.

Examples of famous Gavin Burrows cases

In 2001, Burrows was tasked by a solicitor and news editor Ian Edmonson to pose and set up Shelley Molyneaux, who wanted her husband murdered in a mock robbery for his life- insurance. Molyneaux fell for the Burrows sting and worked with the London Metropolitan Police’s elite unit, known as the Flying Squad (Specialist Crime Directorate) Molyneaux was subsequently found guilty at the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court – she did not appeal. During 2004 and 2005, Burrows was commissioned by the British Secret Services to befriend and spy on the gone rogue and former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson. It was a success until a Special Branch informant, a private investigator, told Tomlinson of the plot.

As recently as 2020, Burrows has been assisting a senior member of the British royal family and his lawyers. Burrows is featured in the 2021 BBC 2 Television Documentary The Press and the Princes, podcasts and BBC Radio 4 interviews as Prince Harry Private Investigator. His work with the royal family started in 2002, when Burrows was asked to investigate a plot of an active plan to obtain DNA from clothing at a Polo match fixture belonging to HRH Prince Harry to either prove or disprove prince Charles’s paternity. Gavin Burrows was working with a former very senior police officer, liaising with a lawyer and Sir Michael Peat (the then Private Secretary to Prince Charles). Thanks to his skill, the culprits were identified. With the assistance of Adam Nathan at the Sunday Times and the agreement of all the target victims, the perpetrators, including the man who planned the crime, were revealed on the front page of the Sunday Times, thus thwarting the attempted crime. Man behind plot to steal Harry’s hair | The Sunday Times

In 2005, on commission from a leading risk consultancy agency who were working on behalf of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a Cambridgeshire-based research laboratory targeted by animal rights extremists, Burrows uncovered a car bomb murder attempt on Michael Kendall, a scientist at the laboratory. Kendall was warned and the authorities allowed the car bomb to go off without anybody nearby. The leaders of the group and others were jailed on the evidence provided by Burrows, the Risk Consultancy and Special Branch.

In 2002, Burrows was commissioned to write a report, translated into every FIFA’s member language on Press Intrusion, privacy and protection. Burrows claimed that The Leveson Inquiry was ‘structured theatre’ and that the Brooks / Murdoch trial in 2014 was nothing more than a British Government controlled show trial. As a consquenece, Burrows received threats to his life and was the victim of a well coordinated case of identity theft in 2017 aimed at discrediting his name. The plot failed, Burrow’s reputation was vindicated and the parties involved are currently serving prison terms.

On July 28th in 2018, Burrows survived an attempted murder in London. He almost lost his life as he suffered a severe head injury, had all his ribs broken and suffered two collapsed lungs. He was in a coma for over two weeks. The police are still investigating this attack.

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