Year of Call:
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.
- 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).
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.
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)
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
- Junior counsel in GLS Prosecution Team of the Year (2015)
Areas of Law
“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