My legal career

2007:       H.M. Revenue & Customs
I advised HMRC and HM Treasury on EU and human rights law mainly relating to budget proposals, ensuring emerging tax policy could be sustained in terms of EU law, in particular the law of the internal market and state aid. I was also the lead lawyer for HMRC on preparing the Lisbon Treaty and on the government’s 2006-7 review of implementation of the Human Rights Act.

2005-7:   Attorney General’s Office
I advised the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, and Solicitor General Mike O’Brien MP, on a broad range of public and civil law. This was a key role for a lawyer at the heart of government, working with ministers and officials from many departments on a variety of major court cases, legislation and other legal issues in policy areas such as terrorism, tax, sentencing, culture, environment, health, employment and discrimination. I also advised the ministers on their public interest functions in charity and family law, working closely with the Charity Commission, and wrote speeches for the Attorney.

2003-5:   Cabinet Office: European law
I advised on the European Constitution, as one of the team of Cabinet Office and Foreign Office lawyers working on the project, and I represented the UK in negotiations. I was also the main external EU law adviser for a number of government departments including BERR, MoD, DCMS, the Health and Safety Executive and the Ministry of Justice – as well as advising Cabinet Office itself. I was the government’s main EU law adviser on the Civil Partnership Act 2005, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Gambling Act 2005.

2001-3:   Department for Work and Pensions: EU and human rights law
I advised on EU law on the regulation of pension schemes, including negotiation of the Pensions Directive, 2003/41, on EU structural funding, on implementation of the Employment Directive, 2000/78, and at an early stage, on the Pensions Act 2004.

1999- 2001: Department of Health: social care regulation
I advised on reforming social care regulation, and helped draft the Care Standards Act 2000. I wrote legislation on the protection of children and vulnerable adults, and defended in judicial reviews and in the European Court of Human Rights.

1997-9:    Department of Health: medicines regulation
I advised the UK pharmaceuticals regulator on UK and EU law governing the marketing of medicines. I represented the UK in EU negotiations and at international meetings, drafted legislation and defended cases in the High Court and the European Court. I was also legal adviser to the Committee on Safety of Medicines.

1995-7: Department of Social Security: criminal and civil litigation
I prosecuted fraud cases involving restraint and confiscation of proceeds of crime; at the same time I defended the department in employment disputes.

1993-5:   Training for the Bar
I was called to the Bar in 1993. As a pupil I did public and family law at Gray’s Inn Chambers (now Renaissance Chambers), and criminal defence work at 1 Harcourt Buildings, Temple.

1992-5:   Free Representation Unit
As a law student and pupil barrister I worked for the Free Representation Unit, advising and representing claimants in employment and criminal injuries compensation cases.