As head of criminal litigation at Kingsley Napley, Stephen Parkinson’s (scroll down for video interview) prior case list reads like a who’s who of modern UK political affairs.
He has represented three former prime ministers: Margaret Thatcher and John Major during the BSE Inquiry and Tony Blair and the rest of No 10 during the Hutton Inquiry. He has acted for a key witness in the Iraq Inquiry; represented former Metropolitan Police commissioner Ian Blair on the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and the Flanagan investigation; and was even involved in the cash for honours scandal.
This year he acted for Rebekah Brooks, applying for core participant status for her at the Leveson Inquiry and representing her during Operations Elevden (corrupt payments from journalists to police) and Weeting (phone hacking).
“I represent high-profile people in trouble,” he says matter-of-factly, detailing a year where he not only represented one of the most controversial national figures in recent years but also advised on the Gibson Inquiry into Guantanamo Bay prisoners and worked with the former government minister still involved in the Iraq Inquiry.
The former barrister, who requalified as a solicitor in 2005 and became a partner at Kingsley Napley in the same year, says: “I understand the world of Whitehall and spent most of my career there, and whenever senior politicians or very senior public officials get into trouble, the advantage is that I understand their world but I’m also outside their world.”