Pinsent Masons has appointed former secretary of state for international development Douglas Alexander as a strategic adviser to the firm.

Alexander served in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s cabinets and was an MP until the 2015 general election. In Government he also held the positions of secretary of state for transport, secretary of state for Scotland and minister for Europe.

Douglas Alexander
Douglas Alexander

Alexander will advise Pinsents on client engagement surrounding the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in June. He will also help the firm’s board identify key issues, such as the role of businesses in informing public debate.

Pinsents’ senior partner Richard Foley said: “At the heart of Douglas’ remit with us is the issue of responsible business and how organisations can re-build bridges into society at a time when public trust is low. In short, it will be about helping executives do business the right way and for the right reasons.

“He will also bring his experience to bear on some of the major issues that businesses are currently facing. First and foremost on that agenda right now is how to engage with the debate around Europe’s future, and there are few better-placed to provide perspectives on that than Douglas.”

Alexander’s role will also include engaging with clients to advise on how their businesses work with communities to tackle poverty and inequality.

Last year Pinsents opened a temporary office in Brussels specialising in EU and competition work. No partners are permanently based in the office and the firm will decide whether to keep the office after the EU referendum on 23 June.

The firm is also rolling out a series of events focusing on the changes affecting the EU. The first event will be chaired by Alexander and features European finance expert Wolfgang Munchau.