Heads of Chambers: Oliver Blunt QC, Sally O’Neill QC
Senior Clerk: Stephen Ball
Deputy Senior Clerk: Joel Mason
Clerks: Leon Muir, Fred Cross, Callum Ratcliffe
THE CHAMBERS Furnival Chambers is a leading Criminal set, boasting Oliver Blunt QC and Sally O’Neill QC as joint Heads of Chambers. It specialises in the fields of serious and organised crime, multi-handed and gang related offences, murder, gross negligence manslaughter, terrorism, sexual offences, financial crime and asset forfeiture, extradition and regulatory/disciplinary proceedings.
Members of Chambers are renowned for appearing in high-profile criminal cases for both the defence and prosecution. They appear in the Crown Court, Divisional Court, Court of Appeal, Privy Council and Supreme Court, as well as the European Court of Human Rights and before Regulatory/Disciplinary panels. Many members undertake high- profile work on behalf of or against the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Football Association and other sports regulatory bodies.
A ‘go to set’ for high-profile, complex cases and those involving novel law including defending in the first ‘Judge Alone Trial’ (R v Twomey & Ors). Members were instructed in the first modern slavery cases and were involved in the first ever prosecutions for domestic servitude within marriage (R v Ahmed), the first ever prosecution for bribery under the new legislation (R-v-Patel & Others), as well as the first successful FGM prosecution. Members have experience in cold cases and Criminal Case Review Commission applications and also conduct cases in the Commonwealth (in particular, the Caribbean jurisdiction).
WORK UNDERTAKEN Chambers enjoys particular expertise in the following fields:
Serious & Organised Crime: Chambers has long been instructed in top-end work at trial and appellate levels including the first post Jogee murder appeals, the News International phone hacking (Operation Elvedon) trials, the ‘Pentonville murder’ trial, the Stephen Lawrence murder, the murder of‘Baby P’ , the‘Witchcraft murder’, the‘Gypsy Slavery’ case, the successful defence of those tried for the death of a family member following a ‘botched exorcism’, the prosecution of the hairdresser convicted of trying to infect ten men he met on Grindr with HIV, as well as the Sally Challen appeal, to name but a few.
Terrorism: Members have appeared in trials, amongst others, of the Gloucester shoe bomber, the first Al Qa’eda funding prosecution post 9/11, the Afghan Stansted hijacking, the ‘Ricin’ conspiracy, a number of recent Al Qa’eda and Syria-related cases, together with significant IRA trials in the past. They are also instructed in proceedings reviewing Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs).
Sexual Offences: Members have appeared in Operation Yewtree cases, the Aylesbury sex ring case, the prosecution of Rolf Harris, the Deep Cut trial and R v Dica, as well as many serial rapist cases including the ‘West End mini cab rapist’, the M25 rapist, the Steve Cook trial and cases of historical rape and sexual abuse. Individuals have been recognised for their skills in this area, including the recent ‘Barrister of the Year’ award for the work done defending Liam Allen.
Financial Crime & Asset Forfeiture: Members have appeared in a multitude of high value fraud and asset forfeiture cases, including the UBS Rogue Trader Case (Adoboli), Goldman Sachs, R v Wilkins and the first professional cricket ‘spot fixing’ case. Members have been retained to advise and act for and against the SFO, FCA (FSA), CPS, UKBA, the police, HMRC and public companies and high-net worth individuals in international/ multi-jurisdictional proceedings, recently including global dividend-arbitrage and withholding tax reclaim investigations and the Alstom bribery investigation.
Extradition: Members of the team are at the forefront of this specialised area of law and have appeared in a significant number of ground-breaking cases. They advise and represent individuals and foreign governments in extradition proceedings at first instance, before the High Court, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Members have advised and appeared in matters involving murder and terrorism accusations, cases concerning the validity of European arrest warrants, refugee status, the ‘biggest military computer hack of all time’ into the computers at NASA and the Pentagon, the‘Hound of Hounslow’ flash crash trading case, all leading cases on prison conditions and requests from Part II countries, including USA, Russia, Turkey, Kuwait and Bermuda.
Regulatory & Disciplinary: Chambers has a highly regarded regulatory team who provide exceptional representation for professional workers, sports people/ staff, before a wide range of disciplinary tribunals. Chambers has vast experience in dealing with regulatory and disciplinary proceedings before the GMC, NMC, HCPC (including the Morecambe Bay Healthcare Trust case, concerning alleged misconduct of midwives leading to the death of a baby and endangerment of another’s life), GOC and the SRA. Chambers handles all nature of hybrid and related criminal proceedings before the Crown Court, Coroner’s Court (including the London Bridge Inquest), public inquiries and mental health review tribunals. Recent successes include the defence of two prison officers charged with gross negligence manslaughter, following the suicide of a vulnerable inmate. Members also appear before Football Association and other sports regulatory authorities, both for the authorities and individuals/teams concerned.
Clerking & Practice Support: Chambers Practice Areas are supported by specialist clerking teams, led by Stephen Ball. The team as a whole is highly regarded and offers a range of counsel of appropriate call for the work concerned. This is an approachable team dedicated to providing the best solutions for client needs.