St Helens man chosen as new High Sheriff of Merseyside

David Steer, who has been appointed as the new High Sheriff of Merseyside
David Steer, who has been appointed as the new High Sheriff of Merseyside

A St Helens man has been selected by the Queen to become the new High Sheriff of Merseyside.

Retired barrister David Steer, QC, who had a distinguished legal career, was chosen today in an ancient ceremony by the Queen Elizabeth, in her role as Duke of Lancaster, using a silver bodkin, to prick a hole in vellum through the name of her choice.

Mr Steer was born in St Helens in 1951, was educated locally and still lives in the area with his wife, Elizabeth. He was called to the Bar in 1974, became Queen’s Counsel in 1993 and was Head of 7 Harrington Street Chambers in Liverpool.

Until his retirement from practice in 2012, he prosecuted and defended in criminal cases throughout the North West. He was Leader of the Northern Circuit of the Bar for three years from 2002 and also sat as a Crown Court Recorder.

As an elected member of the General Council of the Bar he served on the Professional Conduct Committee from 1995 to 1997. He was commissioned as a Deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside in 2016 and last year became Chair of the Board of Trustees of Merseyside Scouts.

Mr Steer, a father-of-one, said: “I am honoured, delighted and extremely proud to have been chosen as custodian of this ancient office for the forthcoming year.

“I am hoping to live up to the very high standards set by my predecessors.”

The key objectives of the role of High Sheriff - which dates back more than 1,000 years - includes ensuring the welfare of visiting High Court judges, supporting the Royal Family, judges, police and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities, church and faith groups.

It also involves supporting the Lord Lieutenant on Royal visits and - after the Lord Lieutenant, who has precedence - to represent the Queen when visiting local groups and public services and to actively support charitable and other worthy institutions throughout the County.

Mr Steer - whose interests include gardening, horse riding, supporting St Helens Rugby League Club - is to be formally installed as High Sheriff at a ceremony at Knowsley Hall on the 18th April 2019.