Keir Starmer QC turns down Mishcon de Reya job

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By Thomas Connelly on

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.

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