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Oliver Powell

Oliver Powell

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Oliver Powell is ranked in both Chambers & Partners (UK) and The Legal 500. He primarily undertakes instructions that involve the regulation of business activity and commerce. His practice encompasses: asset forfeiture & civil recovery; commercial fraud; health, safety & environmental law; indirect tax and maritime regulatory law.

Oliver acts for multinationals, SMEs, private individuals and government departments. For further information please see his specialist biographies.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Oliver worked for a West End firm and at the Solicitor’s Office of H.M. Revenue & Customs in VAT & Excise Litigation. His strong interpersonal skills, candid advice and robust advocacy allow him to forge solid working relationships, making him a popular choice and highly sought after by solicitors and clients alike.

Oliver is Direct Access accredited and in the appropriate circumstances is happy to accept instructions on this premise.

Publications

  • The law and practice of international investigations: Privilege (UK), Global Investigations Review, co-written with Saaman Pourghadiri (OTC), Andrew Thornton-Dibb and David Kirk (McGuireWoods London LLP) (Autumn 2017)
  • Contributor to Millington & Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime (Fifth Edition), OUP (to be published in Autumn 2017)
  • Unexplained Wealth Orders, Recovery, co-written with Robert Starkins, Director CVR Global LLP (Spring 2017)
  • Bribery and corruption—what are the remedies available to those affected?’, Trusts & Trustees, Volume 23, Issue 3, April 2017, OUP, co-written with Katarina Sydow (OTC) (2017)
  • The law and practice of international investigations: Privilege (UK), Global Investigations Review, co-written with Saaman Pourghadiri (OTC), Andrew Thornton-Dibb and David Kirk (McGuireWoods London LLP) (Spring 2017)
  • Marine accidents: investigations and inquiries (UK Westlaw Insight), Sweet & Maxwell, co-written with Richard Morris, Partner Thomas Cooper LLP (2016)
  • Marine accidents: investigations and inquiries (UK Westlaw Insight), Sweet & Maxwell, co-written with Ian Lawrie QC (2014)
  • Contributor to Millington & Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime (Fourth Edition), OUP (2013)
  • A Supplementary Code for Crown Prosecutors, a draft code to be used when the MMO or MCA are contemplating bringing a prosecution against a seafarer, Seafarer’s Rights International, co-written with Ian Lawrie QC (October 2012)
  • Generic Advice & Guidance Manual for Seafarers, concerning prosecutions and investigations bought on behalf of government agencies around the globe, Seafarers’ Rights International, co-written with Ian Lawrie QC (June 2012)
  • Advice & Guidance Manual for Seafarers, concerning investigations and prosecutions bought by the police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, together with investigations by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, Seafarers’ Rights International, co-written with Ian Lawrie QC (March 2012)
  • A Very Civil Fraud, Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, co-written with Mark Sutherland Williams (May & June 2011).

Business Crime

Oliver is frequently instructed in matters with an international element and usually cases involving allegations of dishonesty, sharp practice or breach of trust. He is currently instructed in relation to the SFO investigations into Alstom International Ltd (‘Operation Ruthenium’) and Airbus Group.

He has considerable experience of the following:

  • Asset recovery (civil and criminal)
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Corporate investigations
  • Enforcement (including receivership and contempt proceedings)
  • Financial wrongdoing
  • Freezing injunctions (including Search & Seizure Orders and Worldwide Freezing Orders)
  • Insolvency and POCA 2002
  • Money laundering
  • Restraint (including external requests)
  • SARs

Oliver’s practice has always had a strong emphasis on Asset Forfeiture and the Proceeds of Crime, appearing for the Crown, defence, third parties and receivers. He has advised and acted for a variety of prosecuting authorities (CPS, HMRC, UKBA, SFO & NCA), local councils, receivers and liquidators, both in the Crown Court and different divisions of the High Court. His experience has included undertaking work under all three confiscation regimes (DTA 1994, CJA 1988 & POCA 2002).

Oliver has a particular expertise in acting for receivers, third parties, companies, liquidators, administrators and those applying for compensation and release of monies from restraint, receivership and confiscation orders and those caught up with civil recovery of the proceeds of crime (Kitallides (2015), Bark & Co v Khan (2014), SFO v Bates (‘Operation Anderson’) (2009)).

Oliver’s experience is recognised by his appointment to both the CPS and the SFO Advocate Panel Schemes. In addition he is a contributor to Millington and Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime, OUP.

Oliver is regularly invited to speak at asset recovery and money laundering conferences / seminars. These include:

  • CPS Proceeds of Crime Unit (2009)
  • Magistrates’ and Prosecutors Conference in Antigua (2010)
  • Eastern Caribbean Financial Investigation Advisory Team in Barbados (2010)
  • Moorhead James LLP (2012)
  • Harcus Sinclair (2013)
  • Moore Stephens (2014)
  • Grant Thornton (2015)
  • POCLA (2015)
  • Female Fraud Forum (2015)
  • HMRC FPU (2016)

Commercial & Chancery

Oliver accepts instructions in the following areas:

  • Asset recovery
  • Bribery & Corruption
  • Civil & Commercial Fraud
  • Commercial & Financial Wrongdoing
  • Corporate investigations
  • Contract Disputes
  • Debt Recovery
  • Freezing, Proprietary & Interim Injunctions
  • Indirect Tax
  • Insolvency

In the first four years of his practice Oliver was regularly instructed in the area of MTIC / carousel fraud and appeals to the First-Tier Tax Tribunal in relation to withheld VAT. He carved out a niche as one of the leading juniors in this area and appeared as junior counsel in one of the largest MTIC appeals ever litigated (Darren Richard Leitch t/a London Mobile Communications LON/2008/1823 & 1824). In 2010 Oliver was instructed as junior counsel in one of HMRC’s largest indirect tax frauds, MAK Corporation Ltd v HMRC (£72 million of input tax).

In addition to VAT matters, Oliver has advised on and appeared in appeals before the Tribunal in cases involving the seizure of goods for alleged non-payment of Excise Duty, breaches of prohibitions and regulations on importation and associated non-restoration appeals.

Oliver also has extensive experience in condemnation proceedings involving the liability of goods to forfeiture under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Cases

Behzad Fuels (UK) Limited v HMRC [2017] UKUT 0321 (TCC)

Behzad Fuels (UK) Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 214 (TC)

Xhosa Office Rentals Ltd v H (2015) (Worldwide Freezing Order)

Euro Wines (Cash & Carry) Limited v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 331 (TC)

Behzad Fuels (UK) Limited v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 850 (TC)

Reddrock Limited v HMRC [2014] All ER (D) 142

London Pilsner Limited v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 285 (TC)

Darren Richard Leitch t/a London Mobile Communications v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 229 (TC)

Option NCT Ltd v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 768 (TC)

Fusion Electronics Ltd v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 529 (TC)

SC VRG Roby Trans SRL v UKBA TC/2011/04694

Ven Hugh Glaisyer v UKBA TC/2011/03984

Murray Harper European Removals v HMRC TC/2009/12569

Sebastian Truminski v HMRC LON/2008/8128

Pan Euro Ventures v HMRC LON/2008/1170

Health, Safety & Environment

Oliver has practised regulatory law since joining the Bar. This area of his practice has predominantly included health, safety and environmental matters. He has defended numerous companies and company officers in prosecutions brought by the HSE and local authorities. In addition, Oliver also has a particular reputation for maritime regulatory law in the context of health, safety and environmental disputes. He is routinely involved in prosecutions brought by the MCA, MMO, PLA and IFCAs. Such work includes accidents at sea, collisions, pollution and fisheries.

Oliver is routinely retained by companies at the outset of a criminal, civil and/or regulatory investigation. He will advise them on inter alia best practice in relation to the interplay between the different investigations, interviews and privilege. By instructing Oliver during the infancy of an investigation, companies have quickly come to realise how his experience and sound advice have huge benefits to the team involved.

In addition to prosecutions and regulatory investigations, Oliver is frequently instructed in coronial inquests, appearing on behalf of companies and company officers. Recent clients include: IKO-Design Ltd, Beko, Fresenius Healthcare Group and Clipper Ventures Plc.

Cases

HSE v Leo Building Construction Ltd and Jutla (2017)

HSE v Monoworld Recycling Ltd (2017)

R v Doug Innes and Stormforce Coaching Ltd (‘Cheeki Rafiki’) (2017)

Advised the MCA and latterly the CPS in a two-year investigation involving the death of four British sailors in the Atlantic.

MCA v Nicholas Barrett (2017)

HSE v TE Scudder and Pearson (2017)

MCA v Barton (2017)

Port of London Authority v MacGregor (2016)

Port of London Authority v Thames Marine Gateway Ltd and Beasley (2016)

HSE v North Devon Homes Ltd (2016)

MCA v Serco Ltd (‘Woolwich Free Ferry’) (2015)

MCA v Jones & Morus (‘the Cardiff Bay Collision’) (2014)

MCA v Serco Ltd (‘Barge 1706’) (2014)

Milford Haven Port Authority v Hinders (‘the Matterhorn Spirit’) (2013)

MCA v Hudson & Flushing Ferry Ltd (2013)

HSE v Kempston Cleaners Ltd (2012)

Horsham District Council v Steve Mitchell (2011)

HSE v Writtle College (2010)

City of London Corporation v Brokers Wine Bar (2010)

Marine & Fisheries

Oliver is the leading junior at the Bar for maritime regulatory work, with an authoritative and unrivalled specialism in marine & fisheries. His marine experience covers all types of vessels.

He receives instructions from a variety of different individuals and organisations. These include: charterers, owners, operators, International Transport Workers’ Federation, Masters, P&I Clubs, MCA, PLA and IFCAs.

His work usually involves: breaches of sections 58 and 100 Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (‘MSA 1995’); the application and breaches of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (‘SOLAS’); application and breaches of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (‘MARPOL 73/78’); and the application and compliance of the International Safety Management Code (‘ISM’), including advice on auditing and breaches.

In relation to fisheries work his instructions relate to: offences under the Common Fisheries Policy (‘CFP’) and attendant domestic legislation; trawler operations; fish licensing; breaches of the MSA 1995; and confiscation proceedings pursuant to POCA 2002.

Whilst Oliver is a trial advocate, he also maintains an advisory maritime practice. He has advised the following companies and institutions in respect of marine and fisheries matters:

  • Allantone Supplies Ltd
  • Argos Pereira Ltd
  • CMA CGM & CMA Ships
  • Condor Ltd
  • Fortuna Ltd
  • Georgia Seafoods Ltd
  • Golden Touza Ltd
  • Hanson Heidelberg Cement Group
  • Höegh Autoliners Shipping Pte Ltd
  • International Transport Workers’ Federation
  • Interfish Ltd
  • Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Incorporation
  • Princes Ltd
  • Profesionale Pesquales SA
  • RBC Chartering Ltd
  • Royal Bank of Scotland

Oliver maintains a keen interest in this area of law not just through his practice but also through writing articles, serving on the British Marine Insurance Financial and Legal Services committee, membership of the Royal Yachting Association and by giving seminars. He is regularly invited to speak at marine conferences / seminars. Recent engagements include: MCA Enforcement Unit (2012); LA Marine (2013); Andrew Jackson (2013); Trinity House (2014); Holman Fenwick Willan (2015); MAIFF (2015) and DAC Beachcroft (2016).

Cases

MCA v Nicholas Barrett (2017)

R v Doug Innes and Stormforce Coaching Ltd (‘Cheeki Rafiki’) (2017)

Advised the MCA and latterly the CPS in a two-year investigation involving the death of four British sailors in the Atlantic.

MCA v Barton (‘FV Nicky Noo’) (2017)

D&SIFCA v DW Fisheries Ltd and Welsh (2016)

Port of London Authority v MacGregor (2016)

Port of London Authority v Thames Marine Gateway Ltd and Beasley (2016)

Falklands Islands Government v Sulivan Shipping Services Ltd & Others (2016)

EIFCA v Lake & Others (2016)

MCA v Woolsgrove (POCA 2002) (2016)

MCA v Serco Ltd (‘Woolwich Free Ferry’) (2015)

MCA v Woolsgrove (2015)

MCA v Serco Ltd (‘Barge 1706’) (2014)

MCA v Knight & Huzzey (‘Raiders of the lost wrecks’) (2014)

MCA v Evergreen Marine UK Ltd (2014)

MCA v Jones & Morus (‘the Cardiff Bay Collision’) (2014)

Welsh Assembly Government v Powell & Others (2014)

Milford Haven Port Authority v Hinders (‘the Matterhorn Spirit’) (2013)

MCA v Hudson & Flushing Ferry Ltd 2013)

MCA v Demeester (‘FV Debhorah’) (2013)

SIFCA v Bardell (2013)

MMO v Johnston (2013)

MMO v Summerfield & Summerfield (POCA 2002) (2013)

MMO v Ormonde Fishing Limited (2013)

MMO v Loveland (2013)

MMO v Sole Bay Fishing Company Ltd (2013)

MMO v T N Trawlers Ltd (2013)

MCA v Alexander (‘the Jolly Fisherman’) (2012)

MCA v Koningstein (‘the Spring Bok’) (2012)

MCA v Dantra (2012)

MMO v T N Trawlers Ltd & Olivia Jean (2012)

MFA v Gilson (POCA 2002) (2011)

MFA v Gilson (2011)

MCA v Pretty Time SA & MV Pretty Time (2011)

MCA v Brian Witdoeckt & BVBA Deo Volante (‘the De Zwerver’) (2011)

Appointments & Memberships

  • Appointed to the CPS Advocate Panel Scheme
  • Appointed to the SFO Advocate Panel Scheme
  • Appointed Vice-Chairman of British Marine Insurance, Financial and Legal Services
  • Admiralty Bar Group
  • Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers
  • British Marine
  • Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Fraud Advisory Panel
  • Health & Safety Lawyers’ Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association
  • Revenue Bar Association
  • Royal Yachting Association
  • The Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Western Circuit

Awards

  • Junior counsel in GLS Prosecution Team of the Year (2015)

Areas of Law


Recommendations


Oliver-Powell-Accreditations

Testimonials


“He is superb to work with. He works night and day for his clients, and always gets great results”. Chambers & Partners 2018

“He’s brilliant with clients, very bright, really quick to grasp things and has really good communication skills.” Chambers & Partners 2017  

“The quality of work that he does is exceptional and he punches above his weight – he’ll often be against silks and leading juniors even though he’s less senior because he’s such an expert in this area of the law. What it comes down to is that he just works harder than anyone else – he’s completely committed to his client’s cause.” Chambers & Partners 2017

“Instructed by the CPS and top firms in complex POCA matters.” Legal 500 2016

“Has a very commanding courtroom presence but is pleasant with it.” Chambers & Partners 2016

“Thorough and commercially astute”, he “studies briefs thoroughly and can handle complex instructions at very short notice.” Chambers & Partners 2016

“Very highly regarded junior who punches above his weight by a mile”. Chambers & Partners 2016

“He prepares his cases consummately.” Legal 500 2015

“Very intelligent, approachable, commercial and phenomenal on his feet”. Chambers & Partners 2015

“He’s extremely ambitious and also the real deal: he’s got what it takes to really succeed.” Chambers & Partners 2015

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