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Oliver Powell

Oliver Powell

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“An impressive senior junior well versed in large scale litigation”. Oliver Powell is ranked in both Chambers & Partners (UK) and The Legal 500. One solicitor observed: “He is superb to work with. He works night and day for his clients and always gets great results”. He is praised as “an extremely confident and charming advocate”. 

He undertakes instructions that involve the regulation of business activity and commerce. His practice encompasses: asset forfeiture & civil recovery; business crime; commercial fraud; financial services; health & safety; and indirect tax.

Recent or extant work includes:

  • representing Behzad Fuels (UK) Ltd in the Court of Appeal;
  • advising a well-known fund manager in relation to an FCA investigation;
  • retained to advise on the largest ever financial investigation conducted in the IOM;
  • representing a former SVP of Alstom Network UK charged with conspiracy to corrupt;
  • advising an individual following the London Capital & Finance Plc collapse;
  • retained by Bombardier in relation to the 2016 Croydon tram derailment;
  • advising a large corporate in relation to an investigation by OFSI;
  • advising a former Director of British Solar Renewables Ltd in relation to an SFO investigation.

Oliver is routinely instructed in matters with an international element and usually cases involving allegations of dishonesty, sharp practice or breach of trust. He is a Barrister of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI), a member of the New York State Bar Association, and in recent years has undertaken work in inter alia: USA, UAE, Greece, Falkland Islands and UK offshore jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man.

Oliver acts for multinationals, SMEs and private individuals, and is routinely instructed by City law firms. His strong interpersonal skills, candid advice and robust advocacy allow him to forge solid working relationships, making him a popular choice with solicitors and clients alike.


  • Contributor to Millington & Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime (Sixth Edition), OUP (to be published in 2021)
  • Contributor to Lissack & Horlick on Bribery (Third Edition), LexisNexis (2020)
  • Co-author on Conducting Investigations in the Midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: Five Threats and an Opportunity, Inside (Summer 2020), Vol. 38, No. 2, Corporate Counsel Section, NYSBA
  • Co-author on How the UK justice system has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Public Sector Counter Fraud Journal, Issue 5 (June 2020)
  • Co-author on Sanctions: Foreign Policy, Economic Warfare, or Both?, Inside (Spring/Summer 2019), Vol. 37, No. 1, Corporate Counsel Section, NYSBA
  • Contributor to Millington & Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime (Fifth Edition), OUP (2018)
  • Co-author on The law and practice of international investigations: Privilege (UK), Global Investigations Review (2016 to present)
  • Co-author on Marine accidents: investigations and inquiries (UK Westlaw Insight), Sweet & Maxwell (2014 to present)
  • Contributor to Millington & Sutherland Williams on the Proceeds of Crime (Fourth Edition), OUP (2013)
  • Co-author on 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 (2012)
  • Co-author on Generic Advice & Guidance Manual for Seafarers, concerning prosecutions and investigations bought on behalf of government agencies around the globe, Seafarers’ Rights International (2012)
  • Co-author on 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 (2012)

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
  • Economic sanctions
  • Freezing, proprietary & interim injunctions
  • Indirect tax
  • Insolvency

The staple of Oliver’s commercial practice concerns interpretation of contracts, breach of contract, civil fraud and interim injunctions. However in the first four years of his practice, Oliver was regularly instructed in the area of MTIC / carousel fraud and appeals to the FTT (Tax Chamber) 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 second  largest MTIC appeal ever litigated (Darren Richard Leitch t/a London Mobile Communications v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 229 (TC)). In 2010, Oliver was instructed as junior counsel in what was, at the time, one of HMRC’s largest ever indirect tax frauds (MAK Corporation Ltd v HMRC).

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


UKBF v Rapid Infusion Limited (2019)
Acted for the appellant company in relation to a commercial seizure by UKBF.

HMRC v Behzad Fuels (UK) Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 319
Acted for the appellant company in the Court of Appeal.

Behzad Fuels (UK) Limited v HMRC [2017] UKUT 0321 (TCC)
Acted for the appellant company in the UT (Tax and Chancery Chamber).

Behzad Fuels (UK) Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 214 (TC)
Acted for the appellant company in relation to HMRC’s decision not to restore a number of commercial vehicles and to revoke Behzad’s status as a RDCO.

Parkin v Ryan & Others (2016)
Acted for the Claimant in a Part 8 claim re. interpretation of a shareholder agreement.

Xhosa Office Rentals Ltd v H (2015)
Successfully obtained a Worldwide Freezing Order on behalf of the applicant.

Mursaloglu v Samut (2015)
Acted for the Claimant in a breach of contract claim.

Iran Investment Company Limited v Kittalides (2015)
Acted for the Claimant company in an unlawful means conspiracy (matter settled).

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

Kevin Hellard v Ronald Wyatt (2014)
Acted for the Defendant in a matter concerning allegations of fraudulent trading, wrongful trading, misfeasance and breach of director’s duties (matter settled).

Abbey Forwarding Ltd (In Liquidation) v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 998 (TC)

Behzad Fuels (UK) Limited v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 850 (TC)
Acted for the appellant company in relation to HMRC’s decision not to restore a number of commercial vehicles and to revoke Behzad’s status as a RDCO.

Home Office v Altion Ltd [2014] UKFTT 574 (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)

SC VRG Roby Trans SRL v UKBA [2012] UKFTT 161 (TC)

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

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

Ven Hugh Glaisyer v UKBA TC/2011/03984

Murray Harper European Removals v HMRC TC/2009/12569

Pan Euro Ventures v HMRC [2009] Lexis Citation 507

Sebastian Truminski v HMRC LON/2008/8128

Appointments & Memberships

  • Vice-Chairman of British Marine Insurance, Financial and Legal Services (2016 to 2020)
  • Accredited as a Pupil Supervisor (2013 to present)
  • Accredited as a Mentor with the Social Mobility Foundation (2010 to present)
  • Admiralty Bar Group
  • Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists
  • Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Fraud Advisory Panel
  • Health & Safety Lawyers’ Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association
  • Revenue Bar Association
  • The Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Western Circuit


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

Oliver Powell is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

Areas of Law


“A fluent and persuasive barrister who has all the facts at his fingertips.” POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture, Chambers & Partners 2021

“He’s a meticulous, hard-working practitioner who provides sound, commercial advice.” POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture, Chambers & Partners 2021

“He has a very analytical eye, and communicates well with clients. Very hard-working and diligent”. Business and Regulatory Crime (including global investigations), Legal 500, 2021

“He is knowledgeable, helpful, quick and thorough and he is very deft in handling client expectations”. Environment, Legal 500, 2021 

“He is extremely personable and charming, and consistently wins the trust and confidence of clients at the outset”. Health & Safety (Band 1), Legal 500, 2021

Very diligent, enthusiastic and personable. Instils you with confidence that they know the law and relevant material well and have sensible comments on how it can be applied in practice”. Proceeds of Crime (POCA) and Asset Forfeiture, Legal 500, 2021 

“A diligent and hard-working barrister who provides commercially astute and clear advice, giving due consideration to the overall situation, not just the legal position”. POCA: Work and Asset Forfeiture, Chambers & Partners 2020

“He is proactive, supportive and someone who goes out of his way to help”. POCA: Work and Asset Forfeiture, Chambers & Partners 2020

“Very responsive and measured, and prepares well for cases”. Business and Regulatory Crime, including Global Investigations, Legal 500 2020 

“He combines a methodical approach with an excellent work ethic”. Health & Safety, Legal 500 2020 

“An extremely confident and charming advocate”. Chambers & Partners 2019

“Oliver is very meticulous and inspires confidence as he obviously has such good knowledge”. Chambers & Partners 2019

“A very effective advocate in the criminal courts”. Legal 500 2019

“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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