From giving out prizes at the Legal Cheek awards to Home Sec
Suella Braverman has been appointed to the position of Home Secretary by new Prime Minister Liz Truss.
The former Attorney General, who judged and presented the prize for best Legal Cheek Journal article, takes the reins from Priti Patel. She will inherit issues such as tackling migrant crossings in the English Channel and defending the government’s controversial policy to fly immigrants to Rwanda which is currently being challenged in the courts.
The new Home Sec is the only one of those to hold a top job in Truss’s Cabinet (Chancellor, Home Secretary, Health Secretary, Foreign Secretary) with a legal background. Braverman studied law at Cambridge Uni before being called to the bar in 2005. She remains a member of No 5 Chambers, where her practice used to span commercial litigation, planning and environment, and public law.
Her profile on No5 Chambers details how she “advised and represented several government departments including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Transport” during her time as a barrister, working on judicial reviews of removal directions in the Administrative Court, refusals to grant indefinite leave to remain etc under the Immigration Acts and claims relating to unlawful detention and the Human Rights Act 1998 amongst other things.
The former barrister is not the only one in Cabinet with a legal background. International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has an LLB from Birkbeck University of London.
Both Simon Clarke and Jake Berry worked in law firms before turning to politics. Clarke did a training contract at Slaughter and May, whilst Berry was a commercial property lawyer at Manchester firm Halliwells which shut down in 2010. Berry is currently listed on Squire Patton Boggs’ website as a senior advisor in the firm’s European Public Policy Practice. The new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s wife is also a private client solicitor at KPMG.
Michael Ellis, Braverman’s replacement as Attorney General, is a Buckingham Uni law grad who was called to the bar in 1993 and practised for 17 years as a criminal barrister in Northampton. Another former criminal barrister is Robert Buckland, who stays in his role as Secretary of State for Wales.
Brandon Lewis, who takes over from former Linklaters trainee Dominic Raab as Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, was also called to the bar though there is no evidence that he ever practised as a barrister.