Richard Atkins QC > Chambers of Richard Atkins QC > Birmingham, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Richard Atkins QC
St Philips Chambers
B2 5LS

Work Department

St Philips Crime and St Philips Regulatory


Richard practises in crime and regulatory offences. He specialises in murder (including gangland, sado-masochistic and matrimonial killings); manslaughter; terrorism; seriious fraud (Revenue, VAT, international and boiler room); serious sex offences; HSE; and consumer law cases. Defends and prosecutes. Regularly appears in the Court of Appeal: Lewis [2013] EWCA Crim 776 (jury irregularities); X [2013] EWCA Crim 818 (leading case on “commercial practice” and “transactional decisions” definitions in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008); Masih [2015] EWCA Crim 477 (overturned murder convction); D & P, 2016 (overturned Private Security Industry Act convictions when not instructed at first instance); Bajaj [2020] EWCA Crim 1111 (defeated prosecution of £1 million POCA application). An approachable and engaging advocate. He is well known for his ability to assimilate a large amount of facts. Private, publicly funded and public access work accepted.


Called 1989, Gray’s Inn; Queen’s Counsel 2011. Head of St Philips Chambers (2020-); Chair of the Bar Council (2019); Vice-Chair of the Bar Council (2018); Leader of the Midland Circuit (2014-2017);  Bencher of Gray’s Inn (2014); Fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (2014); Recorder of the Crown Court (2005).


Criminal Bar Association; Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers; Association of Health and Safety Lawyers; Midland 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).

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Crime (general and fraud)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Atkins QCSt Philips ChambersA persuasive and forceful advocate who never fails to impress both lay and professional clients.

St Philips Chambers remains one of the premier sets for criminal work in the Midlands, with clients and peers alike praising it as a ‘go-to‘ set within the region offering ‘professional and well-prepared‘ counsel across the full spectrum of criminal work. Kevin Hegarty QC heads the crime group, which also houses experienced silks Andrew Smith and  Richard Atkins QC, the latter of whom recently returned to full-time practice following a term as Chair of the Bar. The set’s junior ranks also feature some of the circuit’s most prominent practitioners, with members such as Jennifer Josephs  and Jonathan Barker frequently receiving instructions in a wide range of serious cases, including fraud and sexual offences. Josephs is also notable for her work on terrorism cases, and recently acted for the prosecution in the case of Jay Davison, a white supremacist convicted of publishing material with the intent to incite racial and religious hatred in the form of a string of Instagram posts.

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Atkins QCSt Philips ChambersHis presence in court is simply outstanding.

Regional Bar > Set overviews: England and Wales

Birmingham and Leeds-based, multidisciplinary set St Philips Chambers is strong across the full range of criminal, employment, family, personal injury, and commercial disputes, to name but a few. In recent news, the former chair of the Bar, Richard Atkins QC, has been appointed Head of Chambers, taking over the post formerly held by Andrew Smith QC. Also of note, Andrew Charman, Tom Walkling , Ben Williams, and Jack Redmond have all been appointed Recorders deployed to the Midlands Circuit and they will sit in their respective practice areas of civil, crime, and family. Finally, the set’s employment law team has expanded following the arrival of Julie Duane.