DLA Piper expands trade and government relations team in London

DLA Piper has expanded the firm’s trade and government relations practice in London with the appointments of John Forrest and Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean.

In response to the growing demand for sanctions and import/export controls advice, John Forrest, formerly a senior director at Dechert LLP, and one of the leading practitioners in the area, will return to DLA Piper (having previously worked at the firm) to lead the firm’s trade practice in London.

Forrest  has extensive experience from his time as a senior official within the UK civil service and as an adviser to the UK government on trade and investment issues. He advises clients across a wide range of sectors, including telecoms, finance, military, technology, energy and logistics on issues including the implementations of asset freezing measures by EU finance ministries/central banks; classification of dual-use and defence related items; and more.

Chloe Barker, formerly an associate at Dechert LLP, will also join the team and will be based in the firm’s Birmingham office.

The Rt. Hon. Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, an existing consultant to DLA Piper and a Labour member of the House of Lords, will lead the government relations practice in London.

In response to the increasing demand for strategic government relations advice from the firm’s clients, and particularly for experts from within government, Baroness Symons’ role has been expanded to enable her to lead the team advising corporates and governments alike, other than in relation to issues involving the British government or British parliamentary advice or services in respect of which the Baroness cannot advise, in accordance with the House of Lords Code of Conduct.

Baroness Symons is a former deputy leader of the House of Lords and was a minister in Her Majesty’s government until 2005. According to the firm, the Baroness has extensive trade and government relations experience and offers unique insight, in the Middle East in particular, where she represented the UK as Minister of State, and was appointed as the prime minister’s envoy to the Gulf.

She chairs the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, the All Party Group on Qatar, the Azerbaijan-British Business Council and the British Egyptian Society, and sits on the advisory boards of the Middle East Association, British Expertise and the Egyptian British Business Council. Baroness Symons also sits on the Board of Trustees of the John Smith Memorial Trust.