Lawyers lead country as Raab steps in for hospitalised PM and Starmer wins Labour crown

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By Legal Cheek on

Ex-Links associate and Doughty Street barrister in spotlight

Dominic Raab and Sir Keir Starmer QC

A former magic circle lawyer and a barrister at famed human rights set Doughty Street Chambers have found themselves playing key roles in helping guide the country through the coronavirus crisis.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, a former associate at Linklaters, is reportedly set to replace Boris Johnson at today’s COVID-19 meeting after the Prime Minister was admitted to hospital on Sunday with persistent coronavirus symptoms.

Downing Street stressed Johnson’s hospitalisation was a “precautionary step”, not an emergency admission, and that he remained in charge of the government. The 55-year-old tested positive for the virus ten days ago.

Johnson’s rumoured deputy Raab studied law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, before going on to complete a masters at Jesus College, Cambridge. During his time at Links, Raab specialised in project finance, international litigation and competition law.

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Meanwhile, Doughty Street’s Sir Keir Starmer QC has been elected to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

The former Director of Public Prosecutions secured victory over the weekend with 56% of the first-preference votes, beating rivals Rebecca Long-Bailey (a former solicitor at Hill Dickinson) and Lisa Nandy to the top spot.

Starmer secured a first-class law degree from the University of Leeds and obtained a Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL) from Oxford University the following year. The new Labour leader was appointed QC in 2002, the same year he became joint head of Doughty Street.

“We congratulate our colleague Keir Starmer on his accession to leadership of the Labour Party…”, Doughty Street said in a statement over the weekend. “He was involved in some of our most important cases, defending the legal aid system, overturning death sentences in commonwealth countries and upholding freedom of speech and human rights.”

The statement continued: “The many members of chambers who have had the privilege of working with Keir in these cases can attest to his boundless energy, personal integrity and true compassion for the underprivileged. We all believe that his leadership of the opposition will prove a great asset to the country in these perilous times, and beyond.”

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