03:25, July 24 289 0

2017-07-24 03:25:08
Keir Starmer QC to join Mishcon de Reya as legal adviser

Former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer is to join Mishcon de Reya as a legal adviser, The Lawyer understands.

Starmer, who took silk in 2002 from Doughty Street Chambers, has well-known connections with Mishcon, which he advised last year following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the firm’s subsequent decision to launch a legal challenge through its private client Gina Miller.

Mishcon’s lawyers successfully argued that parliament should approve any Brexit deal and that the triggering of article 50 could not be achieved by royal prerogative alone. In all, the legal battle cost the government more than £1.2m in legal fees, annual accounts for the Department for Exiting the European Union revealed.

Mishcon first hired Starmer in 2014 as a part-time consultant for its business crime unit. In June last year, the firm appointed him as consultant to its leadership base Mishcon Academy, a role Starmer stood down from when he was elected to the shadow cabinet.

Starmer’s new appointment means he will rejoin former colleague Alison Levitt QC, who was his principal legal adviser during his time at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Levitt is also a barrister at origin, taking her silk from 25 Bedford Row.

Her role at the DPP, where she oversaw numerous high-profile cases and had responsibility for around 1,000 CPS advocates, made her one of the highest-ranking government lawyers and prosecutors in the country.

She took a central role in the phone hacking prosecutions, advising Starmer on who and how many should be taken to court. She was also seen as a key contender in the race to succeed Starmer in the top legal role.

In April 2014 Levitt joined as a partner in Mishcon’s business crime group, which it launched with her hire. At the time, head of litigation Kazra Nouroozi said Levitt’s hire was prompted by the increasing levels of complex regulation and a blurring of the lines between regulatory, civil and criminal matters.

Starmer will be the second silk hire for Mishcon de Reya in three years, adding to the firm’s ability to offer high-level advocacy where necessary.

Mischon de Reya and Starmer were approached for comment.