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Chambers of Andrew Smith QC

Work 0121 246 7000
Fax 0121 246 7001
723240 BIRMINGHAM-56

Richard Atkins QC

Work 0121 246 7000
St Philips Chambers (Chambers of Andrew Smith QC)


Richard specialises in regulatory and serious criminal offences. His regulatory practice comprises of consumer law and trading standards cases, health and safety cases including associated inquests and cases arising from business offences. He has appeared before the Professional Golfers’ Association National Disciplinary committee and has advised the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association. He has prosecuted for the Serious Fraud Office. He has previously dealt with liquor and entertainment licensing cases. He has extensive experience in murder and manslaughter cases, complex multi-defendant high value frauds and serious sexual offences. He defends and prosecutes in equal measure and his reputation is as an approachable, engaging and entertaining advocate. He is well known for his ability to assimilate a large amount of facts and to put the matters across to the tribunal he is appearing before in an effective and easily digestible manner. He has appeared regularly in the Court of Appeal. He is frequently instructed to defend in privately funded cases and encourages the use of fixed or capped fees providing certainty of costs for clients. He is direct access qualified. Richard regularly gives seminars in St Philips Chambers on regulatory and criminal law topics. He has also been instrumental in providing in-house seminars for clients tailored to their specific needs and requirements and has recently delivered a seminar to the West Midlands Police National Fraud Forum. Richard sits as a Crown Court recorder and is authorised to try all criminal offences except homicide. He is one of a small number of judicial college tutor judges in which role he trains judges and recorders. He is also a Midland Circuit and Gray’s Inn Advocacy Trainer. Richard has recently been appointed as a tribunal chairman for the Financial Reporting Council which is the UK’s independent regulator responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investments. It also oversees the regulatory activities of the actuarial profession and the professional accountancy bodies. Richard is the head of the St Philips Chambers criminal group and a member of the St Philips Chambers regulatory group. Richard is a member of the Midland Circuit and the South Eastern Circuit. He is a member of the Midland Circuit committee. He is the Midland Circuit Queen’s Counsel representative on the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales. He is chairman of the Bar Council member services board, and sits on the General Management committee of the Bar Council. He is a member of the BARCO escrow account committee. He was vice-chairman of the 2013 Bar conference and is the chairman of the 2014 Bar conference. Richard is the first Barrister to be elected to the Birmingham Law Society Council. Richard is chairman of the governors of the Coventry School Foundation which governs Bablake and King Henry VIII schools in Coventry. Important cases: Birmingham City Council v Tesco Stores Limited 2013 – prosecution for committing offences contrary to the consumer protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in relation to the pricing and marketing of strawberries which led to a £300,000 fine; R v X Ltd 2013 EWCA Crim 818 – clarified the law in relation to the consumer protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the law in relation to recklessness applicable to companies. In a reserved judgment Leveson LJ gave guidance on the concepts of commercial practice and transactional decisions, both important terms in the 2008 Regulations. The Court went on to consider what has to be proved when recklessness is alleged on the part of the company. The Court of Appeal overturned a Crown Court Judge’s ruling that there was no case to answer and ordered that the case be returned to the Crown Court for a retrial; Rv Lewis and others [2013] EWCA Crim 776 (Court of Appeal) – in a reserved judgment, the Lord Chief Justice gave guidance as to the approach that should be taken where there is an issue with a juror. In this case a disgruntled juror had visited a defendant whilst the jury were still deliberating and disclosed evidence of the jury’s deliberations. Richard Atkins QC successfully argued that the juror’s actions were not such as to undermine the safety of the convictions. He also successfully rebutted the defence arguments in relation to the admissibility of evidence adduced at trial and the trial Judge’s legal rulings; R v Pavlo Lapshyn 2013 Central Criminal Court – defended a man charged with murder and terrorism offences before Sweeney J. Following a guilty plea, Richard Atkins successfully argued that a whole life sentence should not be imposed.


Called 1989, Gray’s Inn; Financial Reporting Council Disciplinary Tribunal chairman (2013); Judicial College Tutor Judge (2012); Queen’s Counsel (2011); Recorder of the Crown Court (2005).


Criminal Bar Association; Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers; Health and Safety Lawyers Association; Midland Circuit and South Eastern Circuit


King Henry VIII School, Coventry; St Catherine’s College, Oxford University (MA, Oxon); Council of Legal Education Inns of Court School of Law (Bar School).

Regional Bar : Midland Circuit


Within: Crime – Leading silks

Richard Atkins QC - St Philips ChambersA born advocate.

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Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing

Within: Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing – Leading silks

Richard Atkins QC - St Philips ChambersA very authoritative silk.

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