As Rebekah Brooks pleads not guilty to charges of phone hacking, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and unlawful payment to officials, Prime Minister David Cameron's high flying barrister brother, head of the legal chambers she is using, told The Drum his role did not present him with any conflict of interest.
He said that all the barristers working in the Chambers of which he is head were self-employed and had separate practices.
The Chambers UK legal directory entry for Three Raymond Buildings, the barristers Chambers for which Mr Cameron QC is described as head, states: “Advice and representation has also been provided in respect of charges levelled against Rebekah Brooks and Charles Brooks.”
When approached by The Drum asking whether he had represented Mrs Brooks, Alexander Cameron QC responded by simply stating: “You are misinformed.”
The Drum asked Mr Cameron QC if he acted in an informal capacity in this case, rather than by way of formal instruction, and given the nature of his family connection to Mr and Mrs Brooks, whether there was any conflict of interest.
Mr Cameron QC provided the following explanation:
“Under the current rules in England and Wales individual barristers practise from a set of chambers. A set of chambers is made up of self-employed barristers who share some of the expenses of practice (for example, rent and staff costs). But each of the barristers have separate practices. Barrister A in set of chambers X can be prosecuting a case in which the defendant is defended by barrister B who is in the same set of chambers. There is no corporate entity.
“The Head of Chambers is merely the person chosen by the barristers in his set to be its head.
“The Chambers entry does not say that I acted for or represented Mrs Brooks. It merely describes by example, of which the Brooks case is one, some of the cases in which individual members of chambers have been involved, in that instance, Hugo Keith QC.”
The Bar Council directory lists a total of 358 barristers’ Chambers in London, with 50 chambers in the city specialising in criminal law work.