New head of chambers at St John’s Buildings


St John’s Buildings Barristers’ Chambers has appointed Richard Norton as head of chambers.

Norton’s term as head of chambers will run for the next three years. He will be supported by Frances Heaton QC, who has been appointed to the role of deputy head of chambers.

With more than 26 years of experience as a personal injury and clinical negligence barrister, Norton has been on the board of directors at the chambers for more than 10 years. Norton’s experience includes advising on cases of delayed diagnosis, surgical negligence, birth damage and GP negligence.

Heaton is a family law barrister with more than 30 years of experience, specialising in children law. She is regularly instructed in cases involving exceptionally serious injuries, death, serious sexual abuse, exploitation, serious neglect, and learning and mental health difficulties. Heaton was called to the Bar in 1984.

Norton succeeds Sally Harrison QC, who held the position for five years. In her time as head of chambers, St John’s Buildings has benefitted from unprecedented success, seeing income grow by 12%, with profit achieved in each of the last six years, and a rise in its share price.

Chief executive Chris Ronan said of the appointment: “Richard is an excellent appointment as Head of Chambers. He has been right at the heart of the success we have seen during Sally’s reign, and will continue to ensure chambers strives for even greater prosperity in the future.”

“At a time when the legal industry has come under increasing pressure on price, due to competition and austerity cuts, we have managed to buck the trend in increasing our profitability and our barrister income. The Board and I are confident that, with Richard and Frances’ involvement, this growth will continue.”

Norton said “I am very proud to have been elected head of chambers by my peers. Sally and the Board have done a superb job in steering Chambers with exceptional commitment over the past five years, and I hope to build on the opportunities this has created. I am fortunate to have the support of Frances and the rest of the Board, as well as the exceptional staff at St John’s Buildings, and I am confident that we will continue the great work that has already taken place.”


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