John Crabtree (businessman)

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John Crabtree
Mayor of Dudley Cllr Anne Millward and the Lord Lieutenant John Crabtree OBE encourage people to take part in a Jubilee tea party (2) (52038169633) (cropped).jpg
John Crabtree in the uniform of a Lord Lieutenant
Born5 August 1949 Edit this on Wikidata (age 73)
Alma mater
OccupationDirector, lawyer Edit this on Wikidata
  • Officer of the Order of the British Empire (2007) Edit this on Wikidata
Position heldHigh Sheriff of the West Midlands (2006–2007), Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands (2017–) Edit this on Wikidata

John Rawcliffe Airey Crabtree, OBE DL (born 5 August 1949) is an English lawyer and businessman, a former High Sheriff of the West Midlands and current Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. He is chair of the organising committee of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and holds or has held a number of business and charity directorships and chairs.

Early life

Crabtree was born on 5 August 1949 to Norman Lloyd and Joyce Mary Crabtree, and was educated at The Downs School, Colwall, and Radley College.[1] He graduated in law from the University of Birmingham in 1972.[2]


Crabtree joined the Birmingham solicitors Wragge & Co in 1973, retiring as a senior partner in 2003.[1][3][4]

He served as a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands county in 2005, and as High Sheriff of the West Midlands in 2006/2007.[1][3][4] He was President of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry and as a director of Advantage West Midlands.[4] Since January 2017, has been the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.[3] As of 2022, he is a director of Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games Limited, and chairs the games' organising committee,[3][4] a position to which he was appointed in 2018 by the then Prime Minister, Theresa May.[5] He gave an address at the games' closing ceremony.[6]

He is a special adviser to White & Black,[7] the corporate and technology law firm founded in 2007 by Phil Riman.[8] He holds a number of business directorships, including chairmanship of Glenn Howells Architects.[3][9] He is president of the Heart of England Community Foundation,[10] and a past chairman (2008–2017) of the charity Sense, The National Deafblind and Rubella Association,[11] and of Birmingham Hippodrome (2001–2017).[1][12]

Awards and honours

Crabtree was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2007 Birthday Honours, "For services to SENSE".[13] He holds honorary doctorates from both the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University.[2][4] He was voted "Lawyer of the Year" in the 2003 Legal Business Awards.[14] In 2012, he was given a lifetime achievement award in the Birmingham Post Business Awards.[12]

Personal life

Crabtree and his wife, Diana, live in Crowle, Worcestershire.[15] He is father to three daughters and three sons.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d "Crabtree, John Rawcliffe Airey, (born 5 Aug. 1949), Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands, since 2017". Who's Who & Who Was Who. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Honorary Graduates". Old Joe. University of Birmingham. Spring 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Lord-Lieutenant". West Midlands Lieutenancy. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e "John Crabtree OBE". Commonwealth Games - Birmingham 2022. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Prime Minister appoints Chair of Birmingham Organising Committee for 2022 Commonwealth Games". United Kingdom Government.
  6. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne closes 'incredible' Commonwealth Games". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  7. ^ "White & Black Legal | Specialist Corporate & Technology Lawyers". White & Black. White & Black Limited. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  8. ^ "Phil Riman, Founding Partner". White & Black. White & Black Limited. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  9. ^ "John Crabtree Net Worth (2022)". Wallmine. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  10. ^ "John Crabtree OBE DL". Heart of England Community Foundation.
  11. ^ "Movers: John Crabtree, chair, Sense". Third Sector. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Birmingham Post Business Awards - Lifetime Achievement Award for John Crabtree". Business Live. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  13. ^ "No. 58358". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 15 June 2007. p. B10.
  14. ^ Lawyer of the Year (PDF). Legal Business Awards. 2003. p. 34.
  15. ^ a b "Worcestershire man John Crabtree is new Lord-Lieutenant for West Midlands". Malvern Observer. Retrieved 29 May 2022.