Over a dozen lawyers enter Parliament for first time as justice minister Simon Hughes loses seat

The legal profession’s MP hopefuls enjoyed a mixed night as the Conservative Party crept towards an overall majority in the General Election.

Simon Hughes was one of the highest-profile lawyers to lose his seat. The Liberal Democrat barrister was minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties in the coalition government, but lost Bermondsey and Old Southwark to Labour candidate Neil Coyle.

Elsewhere in London, Serjeant’s Inn Chambers barrister James Berry beat another high-profile Lib Dem, Ed Davey, in Kingston and Surbiton.

Other lawyers who gained a seat for the first time included Alan Mak, the Conservative candidate for Havant, who won despite reports that he exaggerated his position at Clifford Chance on his CV. Another Conservative solicitor, Will Quince, who works for Thompson Smith and Puxon, beat the Lib Dem incumbent in Colchester. Former TSol solicitor Alberto Costa held Leicestershire South for the Tories.

Five Conservative barristers were elected for the first time. Victoria Prentis, who defended the government in the 7/7 inquiry, held Banbury. Suella Fernandes of No5 Chambers held Fareham, Victoria Atkins of Red Lion Chambers held Louth and Horncastle, and South Square’s Lucy Frazer QC held South East Cambridgeshire. Meanwhile, Michael Tomlinson won Mid Dorset and Poole North from the Lib Dems. 

In Wales, Thompsons solicitor Jo Stevens gained Cardiff Central for Labour, again ousting the Lib Dem incumbent, and Civitas Law barrister Nick Thomas-Symonds won Torfaen. Former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer won for Labour in Holborn and St Pancras as expected, while trade union solicitor Richard Burgon won the safe Labour seat of Leeds East.

In the tight marginal of Wolverhampton South West, solicitor Rob Marris took back the seat he lost in 2010 for Labour, beating Conservative incumbent Paul Uppal.

However, Bond Dickinson’s Darren Jones failed to win Bristol North West from the Tories, while Francis Taylor Building barrister Sarah Sackman could not win the marginal Finchley and Golders Green.

Barrister Alasdair Henderson, who stood as a Whig in Bethnal Green and Bow, garnered 203 votes and finished ninth out of 11 candidates.

Law student Robin Hunter-Clarke, standing for UKIP, finished came second to the Conservatives in Boston and Skegness. It was one of UKIP’s key target seats. 

Hogan Lovells newly-qualified solicitor Fraser Galloway, interviewed by Lawyer 2B last month, finished third in Paisley and Renfrewshire South – the seat lost by Douglas Alexander to 20-year-old student Mhairi Black.

Elsewhere in Scotland, barrister Joanna Cherry QC won Edinburgh South West for the Scottish National Party, and solicitor Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh took Ochil & South Perthshire, again for the SNP.

Among those lawyers already in Parliament, Labour’s Chuka Umunna held Streatham, and with Ed Miliband resigning, he is already being widely tipped as the party’s new leader. Another solicitor, Harriet Harman, will stand in as leader until a new one is elected.

Veteran Tory MP and former justice secretary Ken Clarke held his seat in Rushcliffe, while shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan held Tooting. Solicitor general Robert Buckland QC held Swindow South and shadow solicitor general Karl Turner held Hull East. 

Jonathan Reynolds, the Addleshaw Goddard trainee who won Staylbridge and Hyde for Labour in 2010, also held his seat.

However, barrister Simon Reevell lost Dewsbury. The Conservative increased his share of the vote but was still ousted by Labour. 

Justice secretary and non-lawyer Chris Grayling held Epsom and Ewell.

Previously: Meet the lawyers standing for Parliament


Lawyers standing for the first time 

Constituency Name Party Barrister/solicitor Result
Banbury Victoria Prentis Con Barrister ELECTED
Cardiff Central Jo Stevens Lab Solicitor ELECTED
Cheltenham Alex Chalk Con Barrister ELECTED
Colchester Will Quince Con Solicitor ELECTED
Edinburgh South West Joanna Cherry QC SNP Barrister ELECTED
Fareham Suella Fernandes Con Barrister ELECTED
Havant Alan Mak Con Solicitor ELECTED
Holborn & St Pancras Keir Starmer Lab Barrister ELECTED
Kingston & Surbiton James Berry Con Barrister ELECTED
Leeds East Richard Burgon Lab Solicitor ELECTED
Louth and Horncastle Victoria Atkins Con Barrister ELECTED
Mid Dorset & Poole North Michael Tomlinson Con Barrister ELECTED
South Leicestershire Alberto Costa Con Solicitor ELECTED
Ochil & South Perthshire Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh SNP Solicitor ELECTED
South East Cambridgeshire Lucy Frazer QC Con Barrister ELECTED
South Ribble Seema Kennedy Con Solicitor ELECTED
Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds Lab Barrister ELECTED
Wolverhampton SW Rob Marris Lab Solicitor ELECTED
Bethnal Green & Bow Alaisdair Henderson Whig Barrister Finished 9th
Boston & Skegness Robin Hunter-Clarke UKIP Student Finished 2nd
Bristol North West Darren Jones Lab Solicitor Finished 2nd
Carmarthen East  Matthew Paul Con Barrister Finished 3rd
Cheltenham Paul Gilbert Lab Solicitor Finished 3rd
Chingford & Wood Green Bilal Mahmood Lab Solicitor Finished 2nd
East Surrey Sandy Pratt Ind Solicitor Finished 6th
Epsom & Ewell Lionel Blackman Ind Solicitor advocate Finished 6th
Feltham & Heston Roger Crouch Lib Solicitor Finished 4th
Finchley & Golders Green Sarah Sackman Lab Barrister Finshed 2nd
Great Grimsby Victoria Ayling UKIP Barrister Finished 3rd
Harborough Sundip Meghani Lab Solicitor Finshed 2nd
Harrogate & Knaresboro Jan Williams Lab Solicitor Finished 4th
Islington North Julian Gregory Lib Barrister Finished 4th
Lewisham Deptford Bim Afolami Con Solicitor Finshed 2nd
Lichfield Paul Ray Lib Solicitor Finished 4th
Maidenhead Charlie Smith Lab Solicitor Finshed 2nd
Meriden Thomas McNeil Lab Solicitor Finshed 2nd
Mid Sussex Toby Brothers UKIP Solicitor Finished 3rd
Newcastle East David Robinson-Young UKIP Barrister Finished 3rd
North East Somerset Todd Foreman Lab Solicitor Finshed 2nd
Paisley & Renfrewshire S Fraser Galloway Con Solicitor Finished 3rd
Stoke-on-Trent South Joe Rich Con Barrister Finished 2nd
Stourbridge Chris Bramall Lib Solicitor Finished 4th
Suffolk Coastal James Sandbach Lib Barrister Finished 4th
Tottenham Stefan Mrozinski Con Solicitor Finished 2nd
Twickenham Nick Grant Lab Solicitor Finished 3rd
Tynemouth Glenn Hall Con Solicitor Finished 2nd
Wimbledon Andrew Judge Lab Barrister Finished 2nd
Wycombe David Williams QC Lab Barrister Finished 2nd

Selected lawyers already in Parliament

Seat Name Party Barrister/solicitor First elected Result
Bermondsey & Southwark Simon Hughes Lib Barrister 1983 LOST
Birmingham Ladywood Shabana Mahmood Lab Barrister 2010 Held
Bolton South East Yasmin Qureshi Lab Barrister 2010 Held
Camberwell & Peckham Harriet Harman Lab Solicitor 1982 Held
Carlisle John Stevenson Con Solicitor 2010 Held
Dartford Gareth Johnson Con Solicitor 2010 Held
Dewsbury Simon Reevell Con Barrister 2010 LOST
Dover & Deal Charlie Elphicke Con Solicitor 2010 Held
Gillingham & Rainham Rehman Chishti Con Barrister 2010 Held
Hammersmith Andy Slaughter Lab Barrister 2005 Held
Hexham Guy Opperman Con Barrister 2010 Held
Hull East Karl Turner Lab Solicitor 2010 Held
Huntingdon Jonathan Djanogly Con Solicitor 2001 Held
Islington South & Finsbury Emily Thornberry Lab Barrister 2005 Held
Loughborough Nicky Morgan Con Solicitor 2010 Held
Maidstone & the Weald Helen Grant Con Solicitor 2010 Held
North East Cambridgeshire Stephen Barclay Con Solicitor 2010 Held
Newcastle North Catherine McKinnell Lab Solicitor 2010 Held
Norfolk North Norman Lamb Lib Solicitor 2001 Held
Northampton North Michael Ellis Con Barrister 2010 Held
North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara Con Solicitor 2005 Held
Nuneaton Marcus Jones Con Conveyancing manager 2010 Held
Old Bexley & Sidcup James Brokenshire Con Solicitor 2005 Held
Orkney and Shetland Alastair Carmichael Lib Solicitor 2001 Held
Rossendale & Darwen Jake Berry Con Solicitor 2010 Held
Rushcliffe Ken Clarke Con Barrister 1970 Held
Stalybridge and Hyde Jonathan Reynolds Lab Solicitor 2010 Held
Stockton South James Wharton Con Solicitor 2010 Held
Streatham Chuka Umunna Lab Solicitor 2010 Held
Swindon South Robert Buckland QC Con Barrister 2010 Held
Tooting Sadiq Khan Lab Solicitor 2005 Held
Tottenham David Lammy Lab Barrister 2000 Held
Walsall South Valerie Vaz Lab Solicitor 2010 Held
Wrexham Ian Lucas Lab Solicitor 2001 Held

Selected other results

Seat Name  Party Barrister/solicitor First elected Result
Epsom & Ewell Chris Grayling Con No 2001 Held