One of the country's leading civil liberties lawyers, Louise Christian, is being threatened with legal action by the CPS' main union.
The First Division Association (FDA) plans to take advice over Christian's comments in a newspaper that prosecutors “tend to be people who failed to make it at the Bar or in solicitors' practices so they don't attract a high calibre of people”.
In letters leaked to The Lawyer, the FDA says it is also considering reporting Christian – senior partner at niche crime and human rights firm Christian Fisher – to the Law Society. The FDA claims her remarks breach the solicitors' code of conduct by “compromising or impairing the good repute of the profession”.
Christian's comments were a response to the DPP David Calvert-Smith's plan to farm out prosecutors to firms of defence solicitors to learn greater respect.
The FDA's national convenor, Kevin Goodwin, says the comments attracted “an unprecedented number of complaints” from prosecutors and were “cheap, gratuitous, untrue and deeply offensive”.
In a letter, Christian apologises for causing offence but says: “I do think the CPS has problems attracting the best lawyers, and to that extent, I stand by my remarks.”
She denies her comments breach the professional conduct rules.
Goodwin says her letter “if anything makes things worse” and is demanding a written and unequivocal retraction and an apology before the FDA's section council meeting on 14 October.