Linklaters hires departing director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders for business crime team

Linklaters has hired the outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, for its dispute resolution practice.

Saunders, whose term as DPP ends in October, is expected to join the firm’s business crime team in London shortly after.

Prior to her appointment as DPP in 2013, Saunders qualified as a barrister before working for Lloyd’s of London. She joined the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 1986, becoming assistant chief crown prosecutor of the CPS London South in 1999.

Between 2003 and 2005, she served as deputy legal adviser to the attorney general, becoming chief crown prosecutor for CPS London from 2009 until 2013. During this time, she was involved in the retrial and subsequent conviction of the killers of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Commenting on the appointment, Linklaters global head of dispute resolution Michael Bennett said: “Alison’s credentials speak for themselves and she will be a fantastic asset to the team, and to our clients. She has a wealth of prosecution experience and is accustomed to dealing with regulators and counterparts at the highest level globally.”

Saunders was the first internal candidate to lead the CPS, taking over from current Labour MP Keir Starmer.

During her tenure as DPP, Saunders has come under criticism following the high-profile collapse of several rape trials as a result of failures in evidence disclosure. The CPS came under fire in December 2017 when the trials of Isaac Itiary, who was accused of raping a child, and Liam Allan, both collapsed after disclosure failings.

Speaking to Legal Week in February, Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “What these cases have revealed is people not performing the duties they should be. The police and the CPS have responsibilities and they need to fulfill them.”