A word from the current High Sheriff of Derbyshire

Mike is incredibly honoured to have been invited to take on the role of High Sheriff. Social mobility in Derbyshire is one of the lowest in the country and Mike sees this as a fantastic opportunity to help children and young people in Derbyshire to set aspirational goals for themselves. During his year in office, he plans to visit primary schools and organisations involved with young people in the County to talk about careers and to encourage children to work hard to be the very best they can be.

One of the High Sheriff’s ancient roles was the enforcement of Law and Order within his area. Mike intends to continue the High Sheriff’s traditional engagement with the police and other emergency services and with the judiciary. He is particularly interested in engaging with police  projects involving young people. He also wants to encourage children and young people to enter the High Sheriff’s prestigious National Crimebeat Award for the most innovative and successful crime prevention projects carried out by young people. The finalists will be invited to attend the National Crimebeat Awards Ceremony in London.

Mike is a highly experienced Corporate Lawyer. After qualifying and working in London, he came back to Derby to join the family firm of Gadsby Coxon & Copestake. He was Senior Partner of Freeths Derby Office from 1995 to 2016 and sat on Freeths management board for a number of years. He will be the first Solicitor to become High Sheriff of Derbyshire.

He has also been a property developer, specialising in the regeneration of redundant churches. Past schemes include a restaurant, apartments for sale, student apartments and an antiques centre. He is currently working on the creation of a classic car centre in Osmaston, Derby.

He is a Director of Copemann Ashby Ltd, a property investment company and Turning Point, an East Midlands based Business Angel fund. 

Mike is a keen advocate of private sector/public sector partnerships – something which Derbyshire can be rightly proud of. From November 2015 to December 2021 he was Chair of Enterprise for Education which is a Derby City Council based organisation dedicated to getting employers into local schools to help schoolchildren with things like CV writing, interview techniques, career talks, mentoring etc. He has been a trustee of the Derbyshire Childrens Holiday Centre for over 30 years.

He is one of the original founders of Marketing Derby, probably one of the best examples of the way the public sector and private sector work together, and was its Chair from 2005 to 2011.He continued as the Vice Chair until 2018. 

He was President of the Southern Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce when, with Ian Morgan and others, he had to get the organisation out of a difficult financial situation. He is also a past President of the Derby and District Law Society. 

Mike lives in Turnditch, near Belper, is married to Dana with whom they have three children, Alexandra, Max and Gabby.  Other than his family, his interests include putting something back into the community, collecting antique guns, cricket, walking,  tennis and skiing.  

Mike holds an Enhanced DBS Certificate dated January 2020.


Michael Copestake, High Sheriff of Derbyshire