Keir Starmer QC is to return to Doughty Street chambers in London after he stands down as Director of Public Prosecutions next month.
Sources close to the chambers confirmed to The Lawyer that the 51-year-old silk will rejoin the set he left – and where he was joint head – to take up the top slot at the Crown Prosecution Service five years ago. He will be replaced as DPP by Alison Saunders, the first internal CPS lawyer to take the role.
Prior to becoming DPP, Starmer had built a renowned reputation as a human rights specialist at the chambers headed by Australian silk, Geoffrey Robertson. When he returns in early November, Starmer will become the 31st silk at the chambers, which also boasts some 95 juniors.
Starmer was called to the bar in 1987 and took silk in 2002. He has a strong reputation in Caribbean death row cases and is also called to the bar in in the Bahamas, Belize, St Vincent, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. Highlight cases in the UK include work on the “McLibel” trial and the defence of MI5 whistleblower David Shayler.
For the five years until his appointment as DPP, Starmer was human rights advisor to the policing board in Northern Ireland.
He received a first class degree in law from Leeds University and also studied at Oxford University.