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

Chambers of Richard Atkins QC
St Philips Chambers
B2 5LS
John Randall photo

Work Department

St Philips Business & Property


John has a broad based practice in chancery and commercial law, acting in a wide range of work including contractual, property and professional negligence disputes, together with commercially related judicial review claims and a variety of sports law matters. He is an accredited mediator and was a deputy High Court Judge for 16 years. John has acted in a substantial number of lengthy trials and high value claims, including: ten lead cases in a group action for professional negligence, tried in the Chancery Division in Birmingham over seven weeks; and Queen’s Bench proceedings on behalf of a substantial Building Society seeking to recover losses of over £50 million from MIG and pool insurers in respect of post-property crash defaults and capital losses. His experience includes two major trials involving the extensive use of computers in the court room during the hearing, numerous appeal cases, and a number of remote video hearings. John is an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales law school in Sydney, and has taught both there and at the University of Melbourne on its Law Masters programme. He is also a frequent speaker at legal seminars in the United Kingdom. John’s international experience includes appearances in the Court of Appeal of Tanzania, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, and the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man (both Civil and Staff of Government Divisions), and providing expert evidence of English law for Courts in Spain and Eire. He has received two ‘Barrister of the Year’ awards. Visit John’s personal website at


Called 1978, Lincoln’s Inn; silk 1995; deputy high court judge, Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions, 2000-2016; Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn, 2003; external examiner, Bar professional training course 2008-2015; member, Legal Services Consultative Panel 2000-09; Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales 2013 (Visiting Fellow 2004-2013); Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne 2014-17. Publications of note: The Tort of Conversion (with Sarah Green), 2009 (Hart Publishing, Oxford) – finalist in the triennial Inner Temple Book Prize (2011); ‘Rethinking the Economic Torts’ (with Prof Simon Deakin) (2009) 72 Modern Law Review 519; ‘Caparo v Dickman – Legal Celebrity or Jurisprudential Substance?’, in Cases that Changed our Lives, 2010 (LexisNexis Butterworths, London); ‘Proprietary estoppel and the common intention constructive trust – Strange bedfellows or a match in the making?’ (2010) 4 Journal of Equity 171; ‘Detinue, Trover & Conversion’ (with Prof Brendan Edgeworth) in Historical Foundations of Australian Law – Volume II, Commercial Common Law (Federation Press, Sydney, 2013); ‘Express Termination Clauses in Contracts’ [2014] Cambridge Law Journal 113; ‘When Louisa Carlill Caught the Flu – Carlill v The Carbolic Smoke Ball Co’, in Cases that Changed our Lives 2, 2014 (LexisNexis Butterworths, London); ‘Criminal Convictions in the Civil Courts’ (with Matthew Dyson) [2015] Cambridge Law Journal 78; ‘England’s Splendid Isolation’ (with Matthew Dyson) in Comparing Crime and Tort (Cambridge University Press, 2015).


Midland Circuit; Chancery Bar Association; COMBAR; Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA); Society of Legal Scholars.


Jesus College, Cambridge (1977 BA (Hons) 2(1); 1981 MA); barrister of New South Wales (1979); barrister and solicitor of Western Australia (2001).

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Company and insolvency

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

John Randall QCSt Philips ChambersHis intelligence, articulation and commercial mindset make him one of the most sought-after silks in the region.

St Philips Chambers is praised by clients for its insolvency practice, which has the capacity to ‘offer solicitors a range of options with good service at all levels‘ and is described by some as ‘the leading set for insolvency work in Birmingham‘. Senior members such as John Randall QC and James Morgan QC are highly active in the field of company law, with recent cases involving misfeasance claims and shareholder disputes. From the junior ranks, Marc Brown is a key name to note, with a practice that focuses primarily on both corporate and personal insolvencies, with recent work including the annulment of the bankrupcy, stretching back to 2013, of an individual with significant rural property assets.

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Professional negligence

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

John Randall QCSt Philips ChambersArticulate and able to explain complex subjects to clients when advising in consultation.

St Philips Chambers is able to offer professional negligence expertise at both junior and senior levels, with a strong focus on cases involving solicitors. John Randall QC is the key silk involved in such matters, with a caseload that also includes matters involving accountants and engineers, while John Brennan is a figure of note from the junior ranks.

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Property and construction

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

John Randall QCSt Philips ChambersThe go-to silk in the Birmingham market.

St Philips Chambers is home to several strong property barristers, who are ‘intuitive and at the top of their game‘ with ‘outstanding knowledge‘ in the field. John Randall QC is a key figure within the group, handling complex and high-value cases involving issues such as mineral rights, proprietary estoppel and boundary disputes.  Anthony Verduyn is a prominent figure in the set’s junior ranks, and recently defended a former Ukrainian politician in a case brought by his former wife, alleging that the defendant owed her more than £2m as he had covenanted to redeem the mortgage on a London flat, and in a counterclaim asserting beneficial interest in several-high value properties owned by the claimant.

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

John Randall QCSt Philips ChambersHe provides excellent service both when dealing with clients and in complex legal analysis, everything one could want from a senior silk.

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Chancery, probate, and tax

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

John Randall QCSt Philips ChambersTechnically brilliant and commercially-minded, he looks to secure a practical outcome for the client.

St Philips Chambers has members instructed on a range of Chancery matters, including Inheritance Act 1975 claims and trust disputes, an area in which John Randall QCMark Grant, and John Brennan are highly recommended. Andrew Charman represented three siblings in an inheritance dispute arising from an agricultural estate, securing the removal of the fourth sibling as an executor, and then in a subsequent action after a failure to give up possession of the land in question.