Private practice lawyers miss out on top jobs in CPS shake-up

None of the crucial roles in the shake-up of the Crown Prosecution Service have gone to lawyers in private practice, The Lawyer can reveal.
Just two candidates from outside the CPS have been handed jobs as chief crown prosecutors in the 42 new prosecuting areas.
But one has come from the civil service where he is legal director at the Department Trade & Industry while the other is a commander in the Royal Navy, who has been prosecuting court martials for the past three years.
Commander Nick Hawkins will head up the Wiltshire area, while Simon Clements, fresh from the DTI, will be in charge of Thames Valley.
The Glidewell Report, which recommended the restructuring into 42 areas to coincide with policing areas, had seen the recruitment as “an opportunity to bring some new blood into the CPS”.
Director of Public Prosecutions David Calvert-Smith QC says: “I am confident that the best people have been appointed to these jobs on the basis of their wide experience and strong legal abilities.”
Barrister Neil Addison, a former senior crown prosecutor and long-time critic of the old CPS regime, says: “It is amazing that there is not a single private practice lawyer. It is a wasted opportunity. I am very sad. I think they have blown it.”
Addison, who applied for a CCP post but was turned down, adds: “There is no cultural change here. The important thing was to have new people in the CPS and to get a breath of fresh air into the service, and this is what has been missed.”
He says the application form put too much emphasis on management abilities, and not enough on being a good lawyer.
Of the 42 new posts, 36 will be filled by men; 32 are solicitors and 10 barristers.