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Mishcon turns to former DPP Keir Starmer to bolster business crime unit

Mishcon de Reya has recruited heavyweight former director of public prosecutions (DPP) Sir Keir Starmer QC as a part-time consultant in its business crime unit.

Starmer, who left the high profile public role for Doughty Street Chambers in November after his five-year term came to an end, will maintain his practice at the set and will also ‘pursue his political and other interests outside of the law’.

Qualified as both barrister and solicitor, Starmer joins his former colleague Alison Levitt QC, the principal legal adviser to the DPP, who joined Mishcon in April to head its business crime group.

Levitt, who oversaw CPS’s decision-making process in relation to the News of the World phone-hacking investigations, concentrates on bribery and corruption, regulatory matters, private prosecutions and will offer high-level advocacy where necessary. Starmer will now focus on cases which cover fraud in England and Wales or those facing accusations across multiple jurisdictions.

The firm’s head of disputes Kas Nouroozi said: ‘[Starmer’s] experience and deep understanding of international collaboration between enforcement authorities brings an extra dimension to our existing capabilities. Moreover, Keir’s past involvement in developing guidance in relation to key government legislation, means that he is ideally placed to advise clients on how to meet the ever more stringent expectations of the regulators.’

Starmer added: ‘Mishcon de Reya leads the field in this area; its dispute resolution practice has an innovative blend of skills, and is held in high regard in the legal community at large. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of something genuinely new and different for our industry and it is a great pleasure to be working once again with Alison.’

The hire comes as the firm will shorty unify its expanding London business from three current sites into one building, with a deal that will see it move out of its Red Lion Square headquarters into the Grade II listed Africa House on London’s Kingsway.