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Mishcon de Reya is launching a business crime unit with the hire of Alison Levitt QC, the principal legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Levitt is joining Mishcon as a partner in the firm’s litigation group. Her role at the DPP, where she oversaw numerous high-profile cases and had responsibility for around 1,000 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) advocates, made the 25 Bedford Row silk one of the highest-ranking government lawyers and prosecutors in the country.
She took a central role in the phone hacking prosecutions, advising the former DPP Keir Starmer QC 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.
Mishcon disputes chief Kas 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.
These trends, Nouroozi added, required an expansion of the firm’s litigation services, particularly into areas such as bribery and corruption, regulatory matters and private prosecutions.
She is the first silk hire for Mishcon, meaing that the firm will now be able to offer high-level advocacy where necessary.
“Many of our clients find it hard to navigate the various legal strands they face across civil, criminal and regulatory matters,” said Nouroozi. “With multiple sets of solicitors and barristers the task of managing complex and multifaceted litigation can be complicated, time consuming and expensive. Alison’s arrival means that we can now add a new dimension to our existing suite of services to our clients and deliver a more streamlined, easier to understand advisory service across the many issues they typically face.”
Levitt was called to the bar in 1988, becoming Queen’s Counsel in 2008 and spending two decades at 25 Bedford Row.