Tuesday, 01 March 2021 09:42

Pinsent Masons appoints Douglas Alexander as strategic adviser

International law firm Pinsent Masons has appointed former Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander as a strategic adviser to the firm.

Mr Alexander, who was until 2015 a Member of the UK Parliament, served in both the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown Cabinets. He has held several high-ranking positions in addition to his time at the Department for International Development, including as Secretary of State for Transport, Secretary of State for Scotland and Minister for Europe. He also served as the UK’s Governor to the World Bank.

Pinsent Masons has more than 500 lawyers and support staff based in Scotland, working between Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

During opposition, Mr Alexander acted as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and, latterly, as Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Mr Alexander will work with the senior leadership team at Pinsent Masons to help inform and support debate among the firm's clients on doing business responsibly. Mr Alexander’s remit will include engaging with the firm's UK-based and international clients as they look to ensure their businesses are connected to their communities, are tackling poverty and inequality through investment, and are developing ever more prevalent and robust business ethics and compliance practices.

Mr Alexander will also bring his considerable experience to bear to help Pinsent Masons and their clients develop business strategies to respond to those geopolitical issues that impact on business from time to time. In the short term this will include helping shape the firm's engagement with clients around the upcoming referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union in June. He will play an active part in engaging with the firm’s clients at Board level to help identify and interpret key issues, including the role of business in informing public debate.

Having established a presence in Brussels last year to help develop insights around the future of Europe, Pinsent Masons is now set to roll out a series of events to support clients in identifying the challenges and opportunities arising from change in Europe. The first event, which will be chaired by Mr Alexander, will take place on 17 March and feature contributions from FT columnist and European finance expert Wolfgang Munchau.

Mr Alexander will split his time between this and his roles as a Senior Fellow at Harvard University, visiting professor at King’s College, London and advising U2 frontman Bono.

Richard Foley, Senior Partner of Pinsent Masons, said: "Douglas has a stellar reputation as one of the most capable and engaging politicians of his generation. At the heart of Douglas' remit with us is the issue of responsible business and how organisations can rebuild bridges into society at a time when public trust is low.

“In short, it will be about helping executives do business the right way and for the right reasons. He will also bring his experience to bear on some of the major issues that businesses are currently facing. First and foremost on that agenda right now is how to engage with the debate around Europe's future, and there are few better-placed to provide perspectives on that than Douglas."

Douglas Alexander said: "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work further with Pinsent Masons. The firm has a reputation for innovation not just in how it serves its clients, but in how it strives to deliver positive change in the global communities in which it operates. It is a firm that seems to think differently to the mainstream and that is what attracted me to them. I look forward to working with Richard and the senior leadership team at the firm."

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