Richard Atkins QC

Call: 1989 | Silk: 2011

Leader of the Midland Circuit
Bencher of Gray's Inn


Described in the Legal 500 as “The dedicated Richard Atkins QC is a powerful and persuasive advocate who attracts praise for his ability to command and control the courtroom and proceedings.” Placed in Band 1 of the Chambers and Partners Directory which states: “Has a substantial practice in serious crime and regulatory law. He specialises predominantly in murder cases including gangland and matrimonial killings.”

Richard specialises in serious criminal and regulatory offences concentrating on homicide, fraud, health and safety and consumer law and trading standards 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.

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 is regularly 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. Depending on the nature of the case he is prepared to act without a junior.

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 has recently been appointed as one of a small number of Judicial College Tutor Judges in which role he trains Crown Court and High Court Judges and Recorders. He is also a Midland Circuit and Gray’s Inn Advocacy Trainer.

Richard is the Head of the St Philip’s Chambers Criminal Group and a member of the St Philip’s Chambers Regulatory Group.

Chambers & Partners 2015:

He is a highly experienced advocate and is admired for his serious crime practice, which features both prosecution and defence work, in cases ranging from murder to fraud.

Expertise: “He is a very intelligent and very sharp advocate.”


Qualifications and Appointments:

  • Judicial College Tutor Judge – 2012
  • Queen’s Counsel – 2011
  • Recorder of the Crown Court – 2005
  • Bar Finals – 1989
  • BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, St Catherine’s College, Oxford University – 1988
  • King Henry VIII School Coventry – 1973-1984

Other Information:

Richard is Leader of the Midland Circuit and a member of the South Eastern Circuit. 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. He helped to launch the Bar Council Speakers for Schools project and is actively involved in the Bar Council’s “Speak up for others” programme, regularly giving talks to schools and Universities in and around the Midlands about the Law. He chairs the St Philip’s Chambers and Aston University annual “Access to Law and the Bar” Conference. He has also acted as a Judge in the Finals of the Bar Council National Schools Mock Trials Competition. As both a Midland Circuit and Gray’s Inn Advocacy trainer, he trains pupils and new practitioners in the art of advocacy.

Richard is the first Barrister to be elected to the Birmingham Law Society Council. Richard was Chairman of the Governors of the Coventry Schools Foundation (2011-2014), which governs King Henry VIII Senior and Preparatory Schools and Bablake Senior, Junior and Pre-Prep Schools. In this role he has also chaired tribunals dealing with teachers’ and parents’ grievances and heard appeals from the decisions of the Headmasters.

Richard is also a professional after-dinner speaker and has spoken at such events as the Birmingham Law Society President’s Dinner, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Dinner, the Birmingham Medico-Legal Association Dinner and the Association of Cardiovascular Intervention Physicians Annual Dinner. He enjoys 20th Century Military History, Ballroom dancing, good red wine and (last but not least) his family.

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