UK & World News
Sir Cliff Richard Hires High-Profile Lawyer
Sir Cliff Richard has hired the celebrities' go-to criminal lawyer to defend him against a sex assault allegation.
London solicitor Ian Burton flew into Portugal with a colleague and spent five hours in a meeting at the pop star's wine estate overlooking the Algarve coast.
Sir Cliff, 73, was spotted saying goodbye to them at the door of his villa before an aide drove them back to Faro airport to catch their return flight.
The pop star has rarely been seen since returning to his home near Albufeira on Friday, the day after police raided his Berkshire apartment as part of a sex assault investigation.
A man has accused Sir Cliff of sexually attacking him during an evangelical rally in Sheffield in 1985.
The multi-millionaire singer emerged in the grounds of his Portuguese home on Saturday when six friends arrived by car to play tennis.
Sir Cliff played a singles game on Sunday, but did not play on Monday as he spent time with the lawyers.
Mr Burton, the senior partner in the firm he founded Burton Copeland, is considered one of the Britain's most successful and experienced lawyers.
He has represented football manager Harry Redknapp, who was cleared of tax evasion, PR agent Max Clifford, who was jailed for sex offences, and former Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed.
His company has also represented TV cook Nigella Lawson, jockey Kieren Fallon, who was acquitted of race-fixing, and the late singer Amy Winehouse.
The online law guide Legal 500 described Mr Burton as "tough and canny" and wrote in an assessment of his ability: "If there is a chance of nipping an investigation in the bud, he will do it."
Mr Burton, 67, said in an interview four years ago: "Anybody can go out and learn the law. Anyone can read a book. Anyone can interpret the law, understand the law.
"But you can't suddenly bolt on the experience of actually having dealt with the thing, actually implementing it when there is a dawn raid."
Sir Cliff denies the sex assault accusation and has criticised South Yorkshire Police for not warning him about the UK raid, but inviting a BBC news crew to film it.
Detectives have spoken to Sir Cliff's lawyers and they are expected to question him in the next few weeks after examining items removed during the raid.
Police were also interviewing a number of people who have contacted them with information in the past few day.