John Crabtree OBE


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John Crabtree OBE is the Chairman of White & Black. His main focus is on developing the strategy and market position of the firm. John brings enormous experience of law firm management and leadership gained over 40 years in the industry.

John is a former President of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce & Industry and was appointed Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands in January 2017. In 2014 Government Secretary Eric Pickles named John as Chairman of the Birmingham Improvement Panel, charged with supporting the council as it pursues vital reforms.

John’s career as a Lawyer began in 1971 when he joined Wragge & Co, where he remained until 2003, rising through the ranks as Head of Corporate, then Managing Partner and finally Senior Partner.  He was voted UK Lawyer of the Year by Legal Business in 2003.

John has many community and charitable interests and is Chairman of the national charity for deafblind people, Sense and of Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust.

In business, his many interests outside the law include being Chairman of Staffline Group plc, SLR Management Limited and Real Estate Investors Plc. He was previously Chairman of Claimar Care Group plc (2006-2009) and Metalrax Group plc (2003-2010).

John’s main hobby is spending time with his six children.