Mills had previously been Director of the Serious Fraud Office (1990-1992), before becoming DPP in 1992, a post she held for six years.

She was Called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1963 and established a practice which was best known for her appearances in a number of high-profile trials: the Brighton bombing trial of 1986, the first Guiness trial in 1990 and for her defence in 1986 of Winston Silcott for the murder of PC Blakelock. More recently she was Adjudicator for the Inland Revenue and for HM Customs and Excise, later HM Revenue and Customs.

Keir Starmer QC, the current DPP, said Dame Barbara was “a strong advocate” for the Crown Prosecution Service and that he had learned of her passing with “much sadness”.