Birmingham Circuit Commercial Court
Business and Property Courts in Birmingham
The Circuit Commercial Court in Birmingham provides a specialist court for business and commercial disputes for the whole of the Midlands region.
The Court sits in the main civil court building in Birmingham in the City Centre. It is an easy walk from the mainline railway stations (New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street) and from Council and other car parks. Links are provided below. Birmingham is well served by the national motorway network, and Birmingham Airport has a direct rail link to New Street Station.
As with all the Circuit Commercial Courts, there is a designated Senior Circuit Judge in charge of the list, who will generally hear a case through all its stages. In addition the Court has a further four Senior Circuit Judges who are authorised to sit in the Circuit Commercial Court and who are available to deal with cases if so required. The organisation of the Circuit Commercial Court and its close links with the Commercial Court in London also means that there is the facility for major cases to be heard in Birmingham by a judge of the Commercial Court, as was done recently in the case of Kelly and another v Baker and Braid  EWHC 1879 (Comm) (external link).
There has been some considerable economic growth in the area over the last decade. Birmingham alone has an annual economic output of in excess of £26 billion. The area is well served by the legal professions and other relevant professional advisors. Links to the local Law Societies and the Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association are provided below.
The Circuit Commercial Court in Birmingham benefits from being part of large court centre, while its judges and staff retain a close control over the progress of each individual case.
HHJ David Worster
HHJ Worster was appointed a Senior Circuit Judge in 2017. He is the designated Circuit Commercial Judge for Birmingham, and is currently the Lead Judge for the Business and Property Courts in Birmingham.
He is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery and King’s Bench Divisions, the Circuit Commercial Court, the TCC, the Administrative Court and the Planning Court, and is a Judge of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.
He was called to the Bar in 1980 and practised in Birmingham from 7 Fountain Court and St Philips Chambers. Much of his work was in the Birmingham Mercantile and Chancery Courts. He was a member of the AG’s Panel from 1995-2007.
He was appointed as a Recorder in 2001, and a Circuit Judge in 2008.
He was a Judicial College Course Director for Civil training from 2016 to 2021 and is the current editor of the Judicial College civil eLetter.
He is a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn.
HHJ Emma Kelly
HHJ Emma Kelly was appointed as a Senior Circuit Judge and the Designated Civil Judge for Birmingham in 2021.
She is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery Division and the King’s Bench Division, including the Circuit Commercial Court and the Administrative Court. She is also authorised to hear Court of Protection cases.
She was called to the Bar in 1997. She practised in Birmingham from 1, Fountain Court and then from St Philips Chambers. Much of her practice was in what would now be the Business and Property Courts.
She was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2010, a District Judge in 2015, and a Recorder (Crime and Civil) in 2018. From 2015 she was a specialist BPC District Judge at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre and thereafter also authorised to sit in the Business and Property Courts as a Recorder.
HHJ Brian Rawlings
HHJ Brian Rawlings was appointed as a Senior Circuit Judge in 2020.
He is authorised to sit in all the Business and Property Courts including the Circuit Commercial Court.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and practiced in Birmingham with Eversheds LLP. He was granted Higher Rights of audience in 2000 and in 2001 he obtained a License to practice as an Insolvency Practitioner.
He was appointed as a Chancery Recorder to the North Eastern circuit in 2008. In December 2015 he was appointed as the Designated Civil Judge for Staffordshire and Shropshire and was authorised to sit in the King’s Bench Division and the Chancery Division of the High Court.
HHJ Sarah Watson
HHJ Sarah Watson was appointed a Specialist Circuit Judge in 2017.
She is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Technology and Construction Court, the Circuit Commercial Court and the Chancery Division.
She qualified as a solicitor in 1987 at Freshfields (now Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer).
In 1989 she joined the Birmingham office of Edge Ellison (now Squire Patton Boggs) and became a partner there in 1994. Her practice was in commercial litigation. She acted in disputes involving construction and engineering, commercial contracts, corporate finance, and professional negligence. She was an accredited mediator, specialising in engineering disputes.
She was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in 2001 and District Judge in 2007. She is the designated Technology and Construction Court Judge in Birmingham.
She is a course tutor for the Judicial College Civil training course.
HHJ Richard Williams
HHJ Richard Williams was appointed a Senior Circuit Judge in 2021.
HHJ Williams is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery Division and in the Circuit Commercial Court. He is also authorised to sit as a Circuit Judge in the Financial Remedies Court.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1992.
He worked at Eversheds LLP and undertook a variety of work, specialising in pensions and corporate insolvency.
He was appointed as a District Judge in 2010 and specialised in BPC matters. He was appointed a Circuit Judge in 2018.
HHJ Tindal was called to the Bar (Lincoln’s Inn) in 2002 having previously practised as a solicitor. He was a member of St Philips Chambers in Birmingham and specialised in employment law and Restraint of Trade.
He was a contributor to Sweet & Maxwell’s ‘Encyclopaedia of Employment Law’ writing chapters on implied contractual terms and fiduciary duties, and EU Law. He was a member of the AG’s Civil Panel from 2009-2015.
HHJ Tindal was appointed as a fee-paid Employment Judge in 2009, a Recorder in 2012, Circuit Judge in 2016 and Designated Civil Judge for Worcestershire and Herefordshire in 2019.
HHJ Tindal was appointed as a Specialist Civil Circuit Judge in Birmingham in 2022 and is authorised to sit as a Judge of the High Court in the Chancery and King’s Bench Divisions and in the Administrative Court.
District Judge Ashwin Mody
District Judge Ashwin Mody was admitted as a solicitor in 1988. He was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in March 2019 and authorized to undertake Business and Property Court work. He was appointed as a District Judge in January 2022
During his career as a solicitor, District Judge Mody specialised in commercial disputes. His particular expertise was insolvency work, personal and corporate, contentious or non-contentious. He was the Head of Insolvency and Commercial Litigation at a national firm. In 2014 he established a firm which specialised in commercial disputes, shareholder and partnership work, and contentious insolvency.
Contact and other details
Address: Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, The Priory Courts, 33 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6DS
Business and Property Courts switchboard: 0121 681 3181
B&PCs Listing Officer: 0121 681 3160
Chancery Issue Team: 0121 681 3033
Circuit Commercial Court Issue Team: 0121 681 3043
TCC Issue Team: 0121 681 3181
Email addresses for judges’ clerks: