Get Yourself a Good Brief

November 14, 2006

Special RelationshipThe Mail on Sunday has been told that when he is questioned by police [in the Cash for Peerages investigation], Mr Blair intends to take legal advice from law firm Kingsley Napley. Source: Mail on Sunday 5.11.06




Alastair Campbell has repaid barrister Stephen Parkinson, who secretly coached him and Tony Blair before they gave evidence to the Hutton inquiry into the death of MoD weapons expert Dr David Kelly. Campbell gave a media lecture to Parkinson’s law firm, Kingsley Napley, which helped Chilean dictator General Pinochet avoid extradition from the UK on torture charges. Source: Mail on Sunday 22.10.06

“It was Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, a personal friend and who had chaired the Bristol babies inquiry, who told me during the summer of 2003, as Lord Hutton began his inquiry, to get good lawyers, and trust them. It was good advice.” Campbell’s lecture

Stephen Parkinson is head of Kingsley Napley’s criminal law practice area. He has a mixed practice involving white collar crime, Stephen advised all the No 10 and Cabinet Office witnesses in the Hutton Inquiry and David Westwood, the Chief Constable of Humberside in the latter stages of the Bichard Inquiry. He acted for Richard Carr, the former Chief Executive of Transtec Plc, who was acquitted this year of accountancy related charges following a three month trial prosecuted by the SFO. Stephen frequently represents high profile individuals caught up in criminal or regulatory investigations. His background, working at the highest levels of government, makes him particularly well placed to advise in cases which need good political antennae and sensitive handling.

Stephen is listed in the Chambers Guide to the Legal profession 2007 and the Legal 500 2006. He has had a varied career. He began as a prosecutor in the Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which then became the CPS. In 1992 he joined the Department of Trade and industry, as the Legal Adviser to the Companies Investigation Branches of the DTI. In 1996, Stephen moved to the Treasury Solicitor’s Department, with responsibility for all the Government’s chancery and regulatory litigation. Between 1999 and 2003 he was the Deputy Head of the Attorney General’s Office, with responsibility for advising the Law Officers on all their responsibilities for criminal issues.Stephen then joined Kingsley Napley on secondment from the Government Legal Service.Stephen was called to the Bar in 1980 and requalified as a solicitor in 2005. He became a partner of Kingsley Napley in 2005.

July 22nd 2005 STEPHEN PARKINSON, the former deputy head of the Attorney-General’s Department, has become a partner at Kingsley Napley. Parkinson joins the 38-partner London firm, which is best known for its white-collar crime practice, having worked there on secondment since September 2003.

7 March 2003 :


Following a meeting with Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s chief of staff, and Sir David Manning, his foreign policy adviser, Lord Goldsmith produces a 13-page document weighing legal arguments, complete with caveats.

13-17 March 2003 : A nine-paragraph document is drawn up to persuade Sir Michael Boyce, the Army’s chief of staff, that British troops would not be charged with war crimes in the event of an attack on Iraq.

17 March 2003 : The Prime Minister presents the document ‘on one side of an A4 page’ to the Cabinet to convince waverers, including Clare Short, of the justification for an attack on Iraq. It is made public.

Lord Goldsmith to rule on the public interest case for Blair’s prosecution. Today: Attorney General Lord Goldsmith says there is “no question” of him standing aside from the cash-for-honours probe.

“Whilst I can’t stand aside… I will make sure that… decisions are taken impartially and objectively,” he said.

Any decision on prosecutions would be made by senior lawyers in the Crown Prosecution Service’s special crime division. Lord Goldsmith will review that decision and determine if it is in the public interest.


Stephen Parkinson, when asked by the Evening Standard if he had briefed the Prime Minister, said:

“I never reveal who my clients are. You could of course contact No 10 and ask them.”

Among the many articles by Stephen Parkinson are :

“When privilege is not a right”

“Fairness and public interest immunity: inconsistent concepts?”

“Exposing the informer and other secrets of the prosecution


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