John Randall KC

Call 1978 | Silk 1995

One of the 16 KCs named as ‘Stars at the Bar’
in the Chambers UK Guide 2024

John is “one of the finest silks in the country” (Who's Who Legal, 2019)
“A great appeal counsel” (Legal 500 2024)

John Randall KC - as one of the longest serving barristers at St Philips Chambers and having served as a Deputy High Court Judge for over 16 years, John has developed his style of clear advocacy and has a reputation for clear and plain speaking. His knowledge of cases and specific areas of law has ensured he retains his standing as of one of the country’s leading barristers and is recognised as such in the leading legal directories.

John's primary practice areas are chancery and commercial law, companies, corporate insolvency, partnerships, professional negligence, real property and sports law, although from time to time he undertakes related judicial review and other common law work.

With a passion for the legal profession, John has held a number of teaching positions, where he has sought to pass on his experience and enthusiasm to students, especially in the area of contract law.

John was presented with Birmingham Law Society’s Barrister of the Year award in 2012, and has subsequently been named as Acquisition International’s UK Barrister of the Year in 2013, and Lawyer Monthly’s UK Land and Property Barrister of the Year in 2015, and Real Estate – UK Legal Award winner in 2019.

Having acted for clients in a number of mediations and other ADR processes, and been approached several times about the possibility of conducting them himself, John Randall trained as a mediator with the ADR Group in 2009. As an active mediator he offers the combination of the wealth of knowledge and experience described above with an understanding of the practical operation and relative advantages of both mediation and a variety of other methods for resolving commercial disputes.

Reported Cases

The below cases give an overview of John’s extensive experience. For more details of John’s experience, please click here to view his profile on the St Philips Chambers website.
John is eager to be involved in new cases that will make the best use of his skills. Cases that have a very high level of complexity to them, or an unusual point of law are particularly interesting to John.

John Randall KC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board

  • Regency Villas v Diamond Resorts [2019] AC 553 (Supreme Court): Easements – time-share development - express grant – subject matter of grant rights to use sports and leisure facilities on adjacent land – whether such rights capable of being subject matter of an easement – validity – appeal from Court of Appeal [2017] Ch 516 dismissed and cross-appeal allowed – judgment in Chancery Division [2016] 4 WLR 61 restored
  • Bryant Homes Southern v Stein Management [2017] 1 P&CR 6 (Ch D): Restrictive covenants - Benefits of covenants – Use in connection with overage agreements – Release – Enforceability
  • Hague Plant Ltd v Hague [2015] CP Rep 14 (CA): Companies, directors, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance, pleadings, amendment
  • Regency Villas v Diamond Resorts [2016] 4 WLR 61 (Ch D): Easements – time-share development - express grant – subject matter of grant rights to use sports and leisure facilities on adjacent land – whether such rights capable of being subject matter of an easement – validity
  • Rees v Gateley Wareing [2015] 1 WLR 2179 (CA): Conditional fee agreements, solicitors, advisory and litigation services, retainers
  • Re Casa Estates (UK) Ltd [2014] 2 BCLC 49 (CA): Corporate Insolvency — Transactions at an Undervalue - Interaction of the Cash-flow and Balance-sheet insolvency tests
  • Horne and Meredith Properties Ltd v Cox [2014] 2 P&CR 18 (CA): Whether persistent and unreasonable litigation against landlord by tenants connected with their use and management of the holding entitled the landlord to oppose the grant of a new business tenancy
  • Morris Homes (West Midlands) Ltd v Keay [2013] BLR 370 (TCC): Application for permission to appeal against arbitration awards - Threshold criteria
  • Stevens v Hamed [2013] I L Pr 37 (CA): claimant transferred money to defendant in relation to purchase of foreign land — defendant failed to transfer title - claimant sought reimbursement of sums transferred as unjust enrichment — whether the 'Moçambique rule' re claims relating to title to foreign land was applicable — whether English courts had jurisdiction to deal with claim

Teaching and Lecturing

With a wide range of teaching experience in the UK and Australia,
John has helped bring the thrill of the legal profession to a new generation of lawyers.

Photograph of The University of New South Wales | John Randall KC

Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales - 2013

In 2004 John Randall was appointed a Visiting Fellow at UNSW, and spent a six month sabbatical there in Sydney, teaching undergraduates nearing the completion of their law degrees Legal History and Advanced Contract over an entire semester. He has subsequently returned to UNSW on a number of occasions to teach courses in those subjects, and a new course on the Principles of Trial and Appellate Advocacy co-written with David (now Judge) Worster. John was appointed an Adjunct Professor by UNSW in 2013.

Photograph of The University of Melbourne | John Randall KC

Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne - 2014

John Randall KC was invited to teach a course on the prestigious Melbourne Law Masters programme, building on the publication of his article on Express Termination Clauses in Contracts in the Cambridge Law Journal. John developed a new course for Masters students on the Termination of Contracts, which compared and contrasted the termination of contracts at common law and pursuant to express termination clauses. He taught it as a Senior Fellow three times between 2014 and 2016, receiving very positive student feedback.

What the Directories Say

John is listed in:

One of the 16 KCs named as ‘Stars at the Bar’:

“Nothing short of brilliant”; “John stands out for his ability to incorporate the commercial drivers of a dispute into hugely complex legal matrices”; “His advocacy was flawless. When John stands up in the courtroom everyone – including the judge – leans in”; “His attention to detail, drafting skills, advocacy and the effort he puts into the case is the epitome of brilliance”.

Listed as a ‘star individual’ in Commercial Dispute Resolution

“An accomplished commercial practitioner who has often been described as the ‘go-to’ silk in Birmingham”; “An extremely capable barrister who knows the judges well. He's also very persuasive".

Listed as a ‘Band 1’ silk in:

  • Chancery

"John is one of the best lawyers in Birmingham. He is very experienced and extremely good. He uses his experience to be fair and targeted in his points - he knows how to achieve best results".

  • Company

“An accomplished chancery and commercial silk with a reputation for excellence in company law matters such as unfair prejudice cases. He is noted for his experience in high-value and lengthy trials”.

  • Partnership

“John … is a multi-talented silk with an established track record in the partnership arena, who is particularly good at representing parties in disputes involving partnerships or quasi-partnerships in the real estate and planning sectors”.

  • Professional Negligence

“A leading silk for actions against professionals including solicitors, accountants and engineers. He has a particularly strong practice in matters relating to real estate”; "John is a brilliant and energetic advocate".

  • Real Estate Litigation
“An expert in property litigation”; “One of the best silks in the country for complex disputes relating to residential development land”; “A pre-eminent silk and … always extremely good on his feet."

Listed as a Leading Silk in:

  • Commercial Litigation
“A great appeal counsel”; “John’s advocacy is second to none and [he] can explain complex issues to clients in a way they understand”; “A go-to leading counsel when clients require real gravitas to present the hardest cases in court”.  
  • Chancery, Probate & Tax
“John is a powerful and persuasive advocate who is well-respected by opponents and judges alike”.  
  • Company & Insolvency
“John’s natural talents are obvious with his sheer attention to detail. By the start of a trial, he knows the facts better than the parties and easily hits every curveball from witnesses and judges”. 
  • Professional Negligence
“John has a brilliant legal mind and is exceptionally good at analysing complex legal issues and giving good advice”. 
  • Property & Construction
“Encyclopaedic knowledge of property law”.   

Recommended Silk in:

  • Company & Partnership
John “enjoys a stellar reputation at the UK Bar, and respondents laud him as ‘an extremely bright, tenacious silk who always impresses the judge’.”  
  • Professional Negligence
“A highly accomplished professional negligence silk, whom sources describe as an ‘exceptional intellect who doesn't miss even the tiniest detail’." 
  • Real Estate
John “receives widespread endorsements for his real estate experience, with commentators confirming that he is ‘an exceptionally good silk for real estate matters’.” 
top ranked silk | John Randall KC
leading silk | John Randall KC
chambers uk bar | John Randall KC
1 legal500 | John Randall KC

Descriptions of John in these directories include:

“Very authoritative with excellent judgement.”
“He really rolls his sleeves up and leaves no stone unturned. He somehow strikes the balance between telling clients what they need to hear and telling judges what they want to hear while keeping everyone happy.”
“Remarkable legal knowledge and insight, capable of distilling complicated and involved documentation into straightforward concepts. ”
“Sources commend Randall for his “meticulous preparation for trial and outstanding cross-examination skills," and highlight his “brilliant knack for perfectly pitching cases to judges in a way that has them eating out of his hand.”
“his prowess in the field of real estate has seen him described as “undoubtedly the top property litigation silk outside London.”
“Technically brilliant and commercially-minded, he looks to secure a practical outcome for the client.”
“He provides excellent service both when dealing with clients and in complex legal analysis, everything one could want from a senior silk.”
“An elite legal practitioner who gives crystal-clear definitive advice [and has] a superb depth of knowledge and experience”
“The quality of his advice is outstanding. He has the ability to go straight to the heart of the issue”
“Exceptionally intelligent and very good with the clients. The intellectual analysis he applies to his cases is second to none”
“superlative command of technical legal issues”
“A huge intellect and a great courtroom barrister”
“brilliant with the law, brilliant with the facts and brilliant with the judges”
“as an advocate you could listen to him all day … he can present complex matters in simple ways”
“His preparation is meticulous and thorough, and he is a very strong advocate”
“He masters every line of his brief and deploys the material to devastating effect in court. Applications that seem lost causes before John stands up are famous victories by the time he sits down”
“hav[ing] the ability to put the client at ease and explain things in a simple way”
“enjoy[ing] an uncontested position as the star of the Commercial Bar in Birmingham … a match for the very best people in London”
“a barrister who ‘can turn his abilities to any kind of case’”
“One of the best silks around … he is incisive and has an unparalleled knowledge of the law which he always applies in a commercially constructive way”
“Hugely intelligent and good with clients, John manages to combine an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law with a first-rate appreciation of strategy and excellent eye for detail”
“He has an ability to interpret vast amounts of information and is highly commercial”
“Extremely bright and tenacious … never fails to impress clients”
“A very good, very commercial and responsive advocate ... He's very approachable, client-friendly, and exudes a sense of reassurance”
“He is an expert at providing advice to clients on how best to avoid litigation and keep out of the courtroom, but once in court, he proves to be a formidable advocate”
“An excellent advocate who presents his argument very succinctly and logically”
“A superb advocate, who is commercially minded and extremely bright”
“The best silk in town, 5 stars he is an exceptional talent”
“An accomplished commercial practitioner who ‘undoubtedly’ retains his status as ‘the best senior silk in Birmingham’, according to market sources”

Latest Videos

For John’s Submissions to the Supreme Court in Regency Villas v Diamond Resorts (4/5 July 2018) go to: (from 29m55s) and (to 1h31m)

For John’s Submissions to the Court of Appeal in Gill v Thind and others (25 October 2023) go to Gill (claimant/appellant) v Thind & Ors (defendants/respondents) - YouTube

A Founder Member of St Philips Chambers

John was one of those who led the foundation of St Philips Chambers in 1998, which was brought about by the merger of his former chambers 7 Fountain Court with Priory Chambers. St Philips was further developed by subsequent mergers with 1 Fountain Court and Chancery House Chambers, as well as strong recruitment from elsewhere.

St Philips became an award winning multi-disciplinary set of barristers, widely recognised as one of the most forward-looking chambers in the UK.

In 2016 St Philips went on to merge with Stone Chambers, a well-established specialist shipping and international trade set based in Gray’s Inn in London, and formed St Philips Stone as its domestic and international commercial dispute resolution team. St Philips now has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Singapore.

Its specialist groups are supported by dedicated clerking teams, whose experience, depth of knowledge and personal service, ensure that clients’ experience of working with St Philips is both beneficial and enjoyable.

Contacting and Instructing John Randall KC

Professional and licensed access clients interested in instructing John should contact John’s clerks as above, and may obtain a quotation for his legal services from them if required. John’s most commonly provided legal services are advisory and advocacy work in his primary practice areas listed above, and his most commonly used pricing models are hourly rate and fixed fees. The timescales to which he can work may be influenced by a variety of factors including what other work he is already undertaking or committed to undertaking, and court imposed deadlines and hearing dates.

As a member of St Philips Chambers, John is subject to its complaints procedure, for which please click here where all requisite information is set out, including as to making a further complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, whose website Decision Data page may be accessed by clicking here.

John Randall KC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board, whose website Barristers’ Register page may be accessed by clicking here.