Alumnus profile: Mr John Crabtree,OBE

Photo of John Crabtree, OBEProgramme: LLB Bachelor of Laws (1970)


I am fortunate to hold a wide range of interests and my experience at Birmingham certainly helped me in my career.

Wragge & Co:

  • Head of Corporate 1983-1991
  • Managing Partner 1991-1993
  • Senior Partner 1993 – 2003

Current appointments:

  • Chairman of Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Chair of Staffline Recruitment plc.
  • Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust, President
  • Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands
  • Glenn Howells Architects, Chairman 
  • Kemp Hospice, Patron
  • Opus Restaurant Limited, Director
  • Real Estate Investors Plc, Chairman
  • Sense, the national charity for the deafblind, Chair
  • SLR Holdings Limited, Chairman
  • Staffline Recruitment plc, Director
  • TruckEast, Chairman
  • White & Black LLP, Chairman
  • Worcester Warriors, Director

What has been the highlight of your career (or other personal achievements) to date?

It would probably be the receipt of a number of awards, both as a lawyer (my degree at Birmingham) and for other areas of my life.

Awards include:

  • Birmingham Law Society’s first Lawyer of the Year 2002
  • UK’s Lawyer of the year, 2003
  • Birmingham Law Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2003
  • The Variety Club’s Midlands Businessman of the Year, 2004
  • High Sheriff, County of West Midlands 2006/07
  • OBE Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2007
  • Birmingham Post Lifetime Achievement Award 2012 

I have also been involved in several major appeals during my career including the Hippodrome’s £35 million redevelopment and raising over £2.5 million for Sense, the national charity for the deafblind.

What are your plans for the future?

Take every day as it comes...