Keir Starmer QC turns down Mishcon de Reya job

Labour MP and Shadow Brexit Sec declines City advisory role owing to ‘other commitments’

Keir Starmer QC has said thanks, but no thanks, to a potentially lucrative advisory position at City outfit Mishcon de Reya.

Yesterday, the firm confirmed it was in “discussions” with the Labour MP and Shadow Brexit Secretary about a possible job opportunity at Mishcon Academy (an arm of the firm connected to learning and leadership). Mishcon — which acted on behalf of Gina Miller in the high-profile Article 50 case — seemed impressed with Starmer’s “wide experience”, and said it hoped he would play a key role in developing the potential of everyone at the firm.

However Starmer, who is still listed as an associate tenant at London’s Doughty Street Chambers, has today confirmed he will not be accepting the role. He said:

I am grateful to Mishcon de Reya for discussing a possible role advising the Mishcon Academy with me, but given my other commitments, I have decided not to further the discussions.

“Commitments” to one side, the short-lived discussions between the pair did attract some criticism. A letter sent by Conservative MP James Cleverly to Starmer and released by Tory HQ this week suggested that there could be a potential conflict of interest. An extract of it read:

The firm acted for Gina Miller in her case against the government regarding the triggering of Article 50 even though your party leader Jeremy Corbyn called for Article 50 to be triggered immediately following the referendum, without the consent of parliament. The firm’s legal work alongside your role in the shadow cabinet creates a possible conflict of interests.

Starmer had previously held an advisory role at Mishcon for four months in 2016, but subsequently quit following his appointment to Labour’s front bench. According to several press reports, the 54-year-old pocketed an eye-watering £4,500 a month, excluding VAT, for six hours’ work.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.

23 Comments

John de Reya

He was being asked to consult the educational arm of the firm – NOT advise the firm in relation to any cases / client work. Further, MdR may have acted for Gina Miller is her successful case against the Government, but that in no way aligns her views with that of the firm / management. That case is done. What conflict could possibly exist in KS working for MdR now?

(6)(4)
Reply Report comment
Anonymous

It would be ammo for idiot newspapers to use to fire against him when he runs for party leadership and during the election campaign when he is leader of Labour.

(10)(0)
Reply Report comment
Corbyn. Symphathiser

The next Prime Minister will be a member of the Conservative Party, following a leadership election. Keir Starmer is not a member of the Conservative Party.

(2)(1)
Reply Report comment
Belinda

There are no two ways about it, he is a handsome and honourable man. I can see the ambition in his eyes, he is hungry for success. This offer is below him, he is destined for greater things.

(4)(6)
Reply Report comment
Belinda

Well I agree, but he is not guilty of anything bad. I can see it across the whole eye when that is the case. I am not sure if you know, but I actually used to work very closely with horses. Being that close to such majestic creatures really taught me how to read not just horses but also humans by the telling signs of their eyes. Until you have worked that closely with horses, you simply cannot appreciate the nuances in reading people like I do. My skillset is actually very unique, few make the jump to the legal world as I have done – my insight is valuable and not something many or any others in the city can offer. I am particularly effective at mediations.

(11)(1)
Reply Report comment
Anonymous

Belinda, you are probably getting false positive results from your methods because the horses you have treated will all be innocent creatures. There is not much crime among horses, if any, for you to compare the eyes and the conduct of career politicians ( or sex offenders) from them.

(2)(2)
Reply Report comment
Belinda

Of course, you must make adjustments to reflect the figures. You are correct in the sense that there is not much horse crime, but there is some. I have seen it, both in the eyes of the offending horse, and having been present at the scene a couple of times. I have seen a horse murder another horse, and another time I saw a different horse maim a goat. The telling look in the eyes of these two horses will forever stick with me (it was both haunting and beautiful in a peculiar way) and I can see that look in other horses, different animals, and in humans.

(7)(1)
Reply Report comment
Anonymous

In Gotham City – 6 hours work for 4500 pounds – the chief of police would ask batman to quietly investigate whether this was a kickback arrangement or a primer.

(5)(1)
Reply Report comment
Vince

I don’t know if it is true, but Keir apparently likes crumpets for breakfast.

The question I pose to you is, would you rather have crumpets for hands, or, a carrot for your nose?

(4)(0)
Reply Report comment
Pascal

It depends on the finger situation with the crumpets too. If the crumpets have working fingers on them that would be fine. I suppose it also depends how buttery the crumpets are too.

(5)(0)
Reply Report comment
Anonymous

He’s an absolute idiot for even letting this become story.

He should have rejected the offer the second it arrived in his inbox. No ambitious politician combines second jobs like this with their duties in politics.

Classic case of a middle aged man going into Parliament – his brain has been molded by years at the Bar and trying to get as much money as possible when he can, as opposed to thinking about the broader implications.

(8)(1)
Reply Report comment
Anonymous

I do wonder why this even reached the press. Presumably he met with MdR to discuss this as a viable opportunity, rather than MdR just making him an offer via a press-release. It also seems a bit weird for them to say they’ve simply made an offer to him (unless they had reason to believe he would be accepting).

(0)(0)
Reply Report comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.