Eversheds is advising the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime (MOPC), the body responsible for supervising the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), as part of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics.
Led by head of inquiries and investigations Peter Watkin Jones, the firm has been officially acting for the MOPC since Wednesday, when Lord Justice Leveson granted the core witness application made by the MOPC for module two of the year-long inquiry.
Due to commence in February, the module will examine the relationship between the press and police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest.
The MOPC, which last week (15 January) replaced the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) as the MPS’s governing body, is expected to give evidence on how it regulated the MPS on issues related to its relationship with the press.
The MPS, which was granted core participant status at the start of the inquiry (15 September 2011), has come under scrutiny over what has been perceived as senior police officers’ close relationships with sections of the media.
Former parliamentary commissioner Elizabeth Filkin called for tighter controls over how the MPS service deals with journalists to prevent erosion of trust in police not just among the public, but among police ranks.
The MPS has instructed One Crown Office Row’s Neil Garnham QC to act on its behalf.
Eversheds declined to comment on the appointment.