Christopher Starkey, or “Chris” as he is known to his friends, acquaintances and mortal enemies, is a commercial lawyer working at Clifford Chance in London.
He specialises in advising investors and developers in relation to large scale infrastructure development in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Before this, he was a structural engineer working in Sydney.
His professional interests include renewable energy development, operations management, engineering, and technology in general.
He also enjoys travelling around the world, is interested in politics, and social policy, live music, and to “party like it’s 2009” (universally considered as the year the world reached peak party).
Some of his achievements include battling prehistoric reptiles in the Australian bush, visiting the Arctic and Antarctic circles, climbing in and out of the world’s deepest canyon, and being involved in the development of some seriously impressive projects around the globe.
Let´s go chat with him!
- [1:07] – Choosing a career after high school & going to university
- [5:49] – What Christopher studied – What it is like to work as a lawyer
- [10:50] – Why also become an engineer
- [13:29] – What the study period during university was like
- [15:07] – How choosing a new career path was the best decision Chris ever made
- [18:50] – Getting through without a mentor
- [22:50] – Studying law versus studying to become an engineer
- [27:55] – The job prospects after studying
- [32:48] – What a day at work looks like
- [36:22] – Feeling your brain working hard – What Christopher loves about his job
- [39:33] – Having doubts about being a lawyer
- [41:50] – If one could go back in time and do something different…
- [43:35] – People who have inspired
- [48:03] – “Everyone goes through hardship” – Life lessons learned the hard way
- [50:36] – Recommended resources
- [53:15] – What the future of this career path looks like
- [57:06] – Skills that can be important to learn when becoming a lawyer
- [59:22] – Christopher´s advice when choosing a career path
Books, movies, TV-series mentioned in the interview
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
- The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, with an introduction by Michael Gorra.
- Waiting for the Barbarians: A Novel by J. M. Coetzee, and C. C. Askew as illustrator.
- Michael Clayton, an American legal thriller film written and directed by Tony Gilroy, starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack.
- Suits, an American legal drama television series created and written by Aaron Korsh.
Links and other useful resources
- Online legal databases for case law and commentary.
- RollOnFriday – News, views, and gossip on law firms (including what they pay)
- Here is an article by TARGETjobs about what kind of person one should be in order to work as a commercial lawyer, and also what the day at work can look like.
- This cool article written by The Gateway has more information on what it´s like to work as a commercial lawyer.
If you´re wondering about the salary of a commercial lawyer, Study.com has some interesting statistical facts worth checking out, here!
here you have a great video about what law school is like –
A lot of people who study Law at University do so because they want to become practising lawyers, whether as barristers or solicitors, but it is not necessary to read Law at University to become a practising lawyer.
Thank you for checking out this interview with commercial lawyer Chris!
Do you have any questions about Chris or about what it is like to be a commercial lawyer?
Remember that you here, on 99 Career Options, can have a webinar, Q&A, and mentorship session with a professional lawyer or Chris to whatever questions you might have, and even be offered valuable and personal advice!
See you again soon! 🙂