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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 (in 4 practice areas). One solicitor observed: “He’s a meticulous, hard-working practitioner who provides sound, commercial advice”. 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; civil 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 in respect of 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 FTSE 250 company in relation to ABC and AML matters.

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 2022)
  • 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)

Marine & Fisheries

Oliver is widely regarded as the leading junior at the Bar for maritime regulatory work, with an authoritative and unrivalled specialism in marine & fisheries law. 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; licensing; breaches of the MSA 1995; and confiscation proceedings pursuant to POCA 2002. In addition, he undertakes instructions that concern public law challenges to fisheries legislation.

In addition to his contentious work, Oliver maintains a strong advisory practice in marine and fisheries matter. He advises companies and institutions in respect of marine and fisheries matters. Clients include: Allantone Supplies Ltd; Andrew Marr International 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; MCA; Odyssey Marine Exploration Incorporation; Picer Marine SA; Princes Ltd; Profesionale Pesquales SA; RBC Chartering Ltd; Royal Bank of Scotland; and Waterdance.

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 and seminars. Recent engagements include: MCA Enforcement Unit (2012 & 2020); LA Marine (2013); Andrew Jackson (2013); Trinity House (2014); HFW (2015 & 2019); MAIFF (2015); DAC Beachcroft (2016); UK Harbour Masters’ Association (2017); British Marine (2018); and Port Skills & Safety (2019).


MCA v Simon Hughes (ongoing)
Matter listed for trial in November 2021.

John MacAlister (Oban) Ltd v NEIFCA (2021)
Instructed on appeal. The appeal was allowed, with the Court substituting the original fine of £180,000 with one of £48,000.

R v Marr (‘Vertrouwen’) (Operation Barnet) (2021) 
Triple fatality.

MCA v Sky Mare Navigation Company (2020)
Fatality that occurred during a lifting operation on a vessel.

MCA v London Party Boats Limited (2020)

MCA v Ravestein, Port of London Authority, PMSL & Goatham (‘Chiefton’) (2019) 
Fatality – 7 week trial before Thornton J.

Waterdance Limited v DEFRA (2019)
Claim for judicial review (matter compromised).

MMO v North Atlantic Fishing Company & Cox (2019)
Advising the company and a Director in relation to a prosecution by the MMO.

K&EIFCA v James Bates (2019) 

K&EIFCA v Michael Meddle (2019) 

HSE v Red Funnel (2019) 

Inquest touching the death of Celso Banas (2019)
Instructed by K Line.

HM Attorney General of Jersey v Michal Dorynek (2018)
Instructed as an overseas legal expert.

D&SIFCA v Laura D Fishing Limited, South West Trawlers Limited & Others (2018) 

MMO v Waterdance Ltd & Another (2018) 

Falklands Islands Government v Golden Touza Ltd & Another (2018) 

MCA v Roger Lennon (2018)

Inquest touching the death of Andrew Ashman (2017)
Instructed by Clipper Ventures Plc.

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

  • 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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