PROFILE: Tim Clement-Jones DLA Upstream - Lord who’s making his name in the law/Multi-skilled Lord Clement-Jones has launched a legal lobbying outfit

Lord (Tim) Clement-Jones CBE says he hates cynicism. But he incites it when he brandishes the photograph of his devilishly cute 18-month-old son because on the back of the picture is a campaign sticker for Susan Kramer, the Liberal Democrats’ mayoral candidate. Typical TC gesture, says a party colleague.

Lord (Tim) Clement-Jones CBE says he hates cynicism. But he incites

it when he brandishes the photograph of his devilishly cute 18-month-old

son because on the back of the picture is a campaign sticker for Susan

Kramer, the Liberal Democrats’ mayoral candidate. Typical TC gesture,

says a party colleague.



One wonders how, if he loathes cynicism that much, he can spend just

about every waking hour with lobbyists, politicians and lawyers and love

it like a bee loves honey.



Maybe it’s because he is all three himself. He trained as a lawyer at

Trinity College, Cambridge, made a name for himself as a City lawyer

and, after many years in public affairs, is back with the lawyers at top

ten firm Dibb Lupton Alsop. He is heading DLA Upstream, a new division

designed to offer clients a way of anticipating forthcoming legal issues

and influencing their formulation rather than waiting until the deeds

have been done.



He admits that other law firms, such as Clifford Chance, Lovell White

Durrant and Eversheds, are already providing this service but that they

have not branded their operations as special units.



On the political side he is Liberal Democrats’ spokesman on health in

the House of Lords. He is on the party’s Federal Executive and was

chairman of its finance committee for eight years. He’s right there in

party history: he played a key role in the merger between the Liberals

and the SDP, and was chairman of the Lib Dems’ 1994 European Election

campaign. You’d never know he started life as a Tory.



Shandwick’s Lord McNally says Clement-Jones is a ’political animal to

his finger tips’ and an ’enthusiastic plotter who loves to be part of

the scheme and the team’. ’He also has a reputation for being the

activists’ activist as well as being part of the establishment,’ he

reckons. McNally also describes him as ’workaholic and meticulous

bordering on the obsessive’.



According to party sources, Clement-Jones does knuckle down and knock on

doors, even for by-elections, cleverly garnering valuable support in the

process. That’s not cynicism, say his many allies, that’s the great

Liberal tradition in action.



On the lobbying side, his first major achievements were with retail

comglomerate Kingfisher where, as group company secretary, he was

involved in the successful campaign for Sunday trading. After leaving

Kingfisher he set up his own public affairs consultancy TCJ and

Associates.



Then in 1996 he co-founded the public affairs firm Political Context

with Leighton Andrews. Westminster Strategy bought it earlier this year,

prompting Clement-Jones to go solo. Being a life peer, his staying on

would have contravened APPC rules which forbid members from employing

peers. Clement-Jones feels the APPC’s rules are over the top.



’I am involved in management and am not doing a lot of direct lobbying,’

he argues. ’I am not paid for political work. I think it is an undue

restriction and an unreasonable fetter on what we do. Tim Bell, Dick

Newby, Tom McNally (all Lords) are involved in public affairs and the

industry would be poorer without them.’



Naturally, he scoffs at the very notion that there is anything unethical

about his multiple roles. It all makes for a very busy existence but the

first thing everyone says about Clement-Jones - or TC as he is known by

the Lib Dems - is that he has got superhuman energy, one friend even

says he has ’the attention span of a gnat’. He starts work at seven and

spends most afternoons in the second chamber. He is desperately proud of

the fact that he makes it back to Clapham for son Harry’s bath at six,

and then goes out again.



He and Edelman’s Nigel Whittaker, former corporate affairs director at

Kingfisher, are said to tell anyone who will listen that they ran the

London and Paris marathons in the mid-1990s. Whittaker, who would

probably rather be pelted with eggs outside Westminster than appear any

less than utterly loyal to him, says: ’He’s flourished in the last

couple of years since he became an independent businessman, a father and

joined the House of Lords. The man’s flying.’



So what of the future? Will the man who, many years ago, was a

prospective Parliamentary candidate, settle down and stick to one

discipline. No way, he says. He needs more money than politics would

give him.



’I don’t believe I would want to choose,’ he explains. ’I love the

variety and I love having links to business, politics and my family

life. I have always been able to combine all these and I will only stop

when I no longer have the energy.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1988

Group company secretary, Kingfisher

1996

Co-founds Political Context

1999

Joins Dibb Lupton Alsop to head DLA Upstream



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