GCHQ legal chief leaves for partnership at BCL Burton Copeland

Lincoln’s Inn firm BCL Burton Copeland has hired GCHQ’s director of legal affairs Michael Drury.

Drury joins the firm as a partner after more than 14 years with the government intelligence agency, where he was the first full time legal advisor.

At GCHQ Drury took control of all legal issues relating to government interception and surveillance, he was a key legal advisor on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which governs the powers of public bodies to carry out surveillance and investigation.

Most recently he advised on how the Bribery Act can be applied to intelligence operations.

BCL senior partner Ian Burton said Drury was “perfectly placed” to advise clients on telecoms-related investigations, both domestic and international.

Drury added: “GCHQ is a brilliant organisation and I had 14 fantastic years there dealing with fascinating issues. Now it’s time for a change.”

Prior to joining GCHQ Drury acted as a prosecutor for HM Customs and Excise and   the Serious Fraud Office.