Lawyers take keys to Number 10

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By Legal Cheek on


First legal couple in Downing Street since the Blairs

After a landslide election victory the keys to Number 10 have been handed over to a couple of lawyers.

Keir Starmer, the UK’s new PM, has a well documented legal past. Called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1987, Starmer joined Doughty Street Chambers in 1990 before taking up the post of Director of Public Prosecutions in 2008, overseeing a number of significant cases.

Keen law students may recall, for example, Purdy v DPP, a 2009 House of Lords case which has become a staple on administrative and constitutional law courses.

Starmer held the DPP role until 2013, being elected to the House of Commons a year later in December 2014.

It’s not just Keir who has a legal past. His wife, Victoria Starmer, is a former solicitor who practised in London after gaining her law degree from Cardiff University. They’re the first legal couple in Number 10 since the Blairs, with ex-PM Tony and his wife Cherie both originally barristers by trade.

There are also a number of notable lawyers who crossed over from the opposition last night. David Lammy, the former shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, was called to the bar in 1994 before practicing as an attorney in the US for a number of years.

Emily Thornberry has also had an extensive legal career. After being called to the bar she practiced for two decades between 1985 and 2005, specialising in human rights law.

The former shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shabana Mahmood, is another former barrister to add to the list. Called to the bar in 2003, she had a short career specialising in professional indemnity before being elected as an MP in 2010.

With the large number of new seats taken by Labour, there are also a slew of lawyers entering the Commons for the first time. These include the likes of seasoned public law barrister Tony Vaughan, former Crown prosecutor Linsey Farnsworth and international firm partner Lucy Rigby.

Meanwhile, a host of Conservative lawyer-MPs may be returning to legal practice after having lost their seats. Lord Chancellor Alex Chalk, former Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland and attorney general Victoria Prentis were all voted out last night, alongside several other lower profile legal Tories.



Sarah Sackman (barrister currently at Matrix and formerly at Francis Taylor Building) elected for Labour in Finchley and Golders Green.


Well done to Sir Keir. There will be some very competent individuals in office to replace the Tory circus.


And Angela Rayner to mess it all up.


Angela is great, you mug


You’ll be eating your words in five years, when the woke left will have turned this country into a wasteland, and Starmer and his ilk are sent packing.

Have a kit kat

Bit dramatic

Law Man

Catherine Atkinson Derby is a Barrister and very personable

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