Richard Barton
January 4, 2017

John Collins

Born in Dublin, Ireland, 1944.
Elected Auditor of the Law Students Debating Society in 1965.
Called to the Irish Bar 1967.
He practised law in the Four Courts, Dublin and on the Munster Circuit from 1967 to 1972.
Called to the English Bar in the Middle Temple 1972, and thereafter moved to London to practice at the Bar Of England and Wales.
He was Called to the Bar of NSW In Sydney, Australia in 1989.

He joined Jon Harvey QC’s Chambers in Francis Taylor Buildings and proceeded to build up a substantial common law practice in and around Greater London.
He founded 11 South Square Chambers in Grays Inn in 1982.
Lord Ivor Richards QC took that over in 1986.
He defended in the Silver Bullion Trial in Lewes Crown Court in 1986.
He led Christopher Strachan.
The Trial was presided over by the then Resident Judge, HH John Gower QC.
His client was the only one of the six defendants to be acquitted.
The Trial lasted 6 months.
On the conclusion of the Trial, he sought permission to found and establish a Chambers in Lewes.
In October 1987, he started Westgate Chambers – naming it after the location of the premises he bought with his founding Clerk, Raymond Fox Byrne, at the West Gate of Lewes.
He then embarked on building up a practice in the South East with many noteworthy Trials in Lewes, Brighton, Chichester, Guildford, Croydon, Maidstone and Canterbury.
Between 1990 to 1993 he appeared in a series of Trials in the Old Bailey, London, arising out of the then biggest Robbery in England, the Gold Bullion Robbery at Heathrow Airport where £26 million was taken in gold bars.
Those Trials involved 2 investigatory Trials in Liechtenstein. There Swiss and Liechtenstein Banks gave evidence about the proceeds of that robbery.
He was the Editor in Chief of Archibold Reseach Papers – a project financed by Sweet and Maxwell. (1993-1997).
He founded the International Association of Irish Lawyers (IAIL) in 1992.
He handed over the Chair of the IAIL to HH Andrew Phelan QC in 1996.
He ceased practising law in 2007 owing to the demands of managing a set of Chambers that had grown to excess of 50 Barristers - practising in a variety of fields and necessitating a large administrative staff.
He continues to tackle the myriad problems being caused by the ceaseless changes in the way Law is being practised and financed in the UK.
Guests of Honour at the 10th. anniversary dinner were the Irish Chief Justice, Liam Hamilton and the then Leader of the House of Lords, Ivor Richards, QC.
Dame Anne Rafferty, DBE, PC, QC, Lady Justice of Appeal along with her husband, HH Brian Barker, CBE, QC, Recorder of London – were the guests of honour at the subsequent anniversary dinners.
He has five children – Patrick b. 1971, Aisling b. 1972, Paul b. 1976, Glenn b. 1999 and Maria b. 2005.

Called UK 1972, Ireland 1967, NSW 1989
Joint Head of Chambers
Practice Area: Crime


Download Profile (PDF)