DLA Piper appoints Labour peer Lord Blunkett to global government affairs team

Labour politician joins to advise on public policy as firm cites aim to appoint advisors from across the political spectrum

Lord Blunkett Image courtesy of DLA Piper

DLA Piper has bolstered its global government affairs team with the appointment of former UK cabinet minister Lord David Blunkett as an adviser.  

Blunkett will join the firm’s 35-strong government affairs team to provide public policy advice and a greater understanding of government and policy development to clients, as well as strategic advice to DLA Piper.

He has been a member of the House of Lords since 2015 and previously served as MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough from 1987 to 2015. Blind since birth and coming from one of Sheffield’s most deprived districts, he rose to become education and employment secretary, home secretary and work and pensions secretary in Tony Blair’s cabinet following Labour’s victory in the 1997 general election.

DLA Piper said Blunkett’s appointment reflected its desire to maintain advisers from across the political spectrum. He joins senior political consultants in the firm’s UK government affairs team including Lord Barwell, who was chief of staff to former Prime Minister Theresa May from 2017-2019, Lord Tyrie, the former chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards and chair of the Commons’ Treasury Select Committee, and former UK solicitor-general and Conservative Party peer Lord Garnier QC. The team is led by Paul Hardy, a former senior legal counsel in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Simon Levine, DLA Piper’s global co-CEO and managing partner, said: “Lord Blunkett’s appointment is a demonstration of our commitment to the continued investment in our government affairs team and to the quality of strategic and political advice we offer our clients. Where the political and economic terrain is uncertain, we understand that our clients need a partner to help them assess their options. I look forward to Lord Blunkett joining us and the valuable contribution he will make to our clients and the firm as a whole.”      

Blunkett commented: “I am pleased to be joining a law firm with the stature and global reach of DLA Piper. With a general election just around the corner I am looking forward to advising the firm and its clients on a wide variety of government policy and related issues. We are in a period of political change and the need for businesses to navigate the associated risks and opportunities has never been greater. I look forward to assisting in that endeavour.” 

Blunkett’s is the latest in a string of political appointments in the UK legal market in recent months, including Kingsley Napley’s hire of senior government litigator Natalie Cohen and Lord Carter, former general counsel at 10 Downing Street, in January.  

And last month Sir Max Hill KC, the former Director of Public Prosecutions of England and Wales, joined King & Spalding’s London office as a counsel. 

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