The director of public prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Ken McDonald, leads the list of knighthoods in the Queen's 2007 new year's honours.
He joins giants of industry James Dyson, founder and chairman of vacuum cleaner giant Dyson, KPMG chairman Michael Rake, and Sainsbury's chairman Philip Hampton in being given the top British honour.
John Scarlett, the head of the secret intelligence service, MI6, has been granted the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG). He was chairman of the joint intelligence service when Britain went to war in Iraq, and gave evidence to the Hutton inquiry.
Controversially, an OBE has been given to the interim victims commissioner of Northern Ireland, Bertha McDougall, whose husband was murdered by republican paramilitaries.
Her appointment in 2005 by Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain is currently being investigated after a judge said it was motivated by an "improper political purpose", and failed to note the problems she may have commanding cross-community support.
Elsewhere in government, the chief inspector of probation, Andrew Bridges, has been made CBE and former Ofsted chief Maurice Smith has been made Companion of the Order of the Bath.
The man in charge of the Metropolitan police's counter-terrorism unit, John McDowall, has been made MBE.
June Sarpong, who interviewed Tony Blair on Channel Four's music show before the last election, has been made MBE. Meanwhile, actress Penelope Keith has been made CBE, as have singer Rod Stuart and best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith.
In sport, Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards has been made CBE, and England and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has been made MBE. Boxer Ricky Hatton, England ladies' football captain Faye White and golfer Ian Woosnam have also been given MBEs.