• Esteemed practitioner John Trotter is known for his vast experience across a wide array of public law matters, including judicial review proceedings and public inquiries.

    Chambers UK 2021

  • Recognised as a Senior Statesperson and Notable Practitioner

    Chambers 2020

  • John is noted for his 'first-class attention to detail'

    Legal 500 2017

  • "A seasoned campaigner, who works very hard and is a nice man with it."

    Chambers 2016

  • Named as Leading Individual in practice area Dispute Resolution.

    Legal 500 2015

  • John Trotter is a pre-eminent practitioner with decades of experience... across the full range of public law.

    Chambers UK 2015

  • Selected as a super lawyer 2014.

    Super Lawyers Magazine

  • Clients regard John as "a very dedicated individual who never gives you the impression he has other pressures on his time."

    Chambers UK 2014


I was the head of Public and Regulatory law at Bates Wells for over 30 years. I have been described by Chambers UK as “striking a fine balance between academic rigour and a practical approach” and am ranked by both Chambers UK & the Legal 500 as a leading individual in the field.


I have many years of experience in dealing with public law and regulatory matters at the highest levels, for example running numerous test cases on homelessness, freedom of information and immigration in the 1970s and 1980s. I also act as advocate for social workers and the profession of social work in the 1980s and beyond in many child abuse inquiries. Additionally, I have acted in all matters for PhonepayPlus (formerly ICSTIS), the regulator of premium rate services, for over 30 years.

I continue to advise clients of many years standing and new clients in successfully imposing regulation or in challenging the decisions made by authorities and deals with a number of judicial review cases at any time.

  • I drafted the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice
  • I represented the ICAEW in various judicial review cases including: R v ICAEW ex parte Coke-Wallis (Supreme Court); R v ICAEW ex parte Hill
  • I advised the British Association of Social Workers in matters concerning The College of Social Work
  • I advised a leading insurance company in a judicial review of the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Qualifications and career

  • Nottingham University, LLB (Hons), 1970
  • Admitted as a solicitor, 1973
  • Partner at Bates Wells, 1976
  • Senior partner at Bates Wells, 2001

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation