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Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC

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Furnival Chambers is a leading criminal set, with Oliver Blunt QC and Sally O’Neill QC as joint heads of Chambers. It specialises in the fields of serious and organised crime, including terrorism and sexual offences, financial crime and asset forfeiture, extradition and regulatory/disciplinary cases.

The set: Members of Chambers are renowned for appearing in high-profile criminal cases for both the prosecution and defence. They appear at trial, in the Divisional Court, Court of Appeal, Privy Council and the Supreme Court, as well as the European Court of Human Rights and regulatory/disciplinary panels. Many members undertake high-profile work on behalf of, or against the Assets Recovery Agency, FCA, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Serious Fraud Office, the Department of Work and Pensions and the Crown Prosecution Service. A ‘go to’ set for high-profile, complex cases and those involving novel law. Members also regularly conduct cases in the Commonwealth and in particular the Caribbean jurisdictions.

Types of work undertaken: Chambers enjoys particular expertise in the following fields:

Serious and organised crime: Chambers has long been instructed in top-end work at trial and appellate levels, including the News International phone hacking (Operation Elvedon) trials, the Hatton Garden Jewellery raid, the Stephen Lawrence murder, the Millenium Dome conspiracy, the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, the murder of Sarah Payne, ‘Baby P’, the prosecution of Princess Diana’s butler, Deep Cut, the £50m Tonbridge robbery, the ‘M25 rapist’, the ‘Witchcraft murder’, significant death row appeals and high-profile Official Secrets Act trials amongst them.

Terrorism: Members have appeared in the 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, and a number of recent Al Qa’eda and Syria-related cases together with significant IRA trials in the past.

Sexual offences: Chambers’ members have appeared in Operation Yewtree cases, 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. Chambers has significant experience in handling LCN DNA evidence and applications on abuse.

Financial crime and asset forfeiture: Members have appeared in a multitude of high value fraud and asset forfeiture-related cases, including the UBS rogue trader (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 individuals in international/multi-jurisdictional proceedings.

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 computers at NASA and the Pentagon, Nikonovs v HMP Brixton regarding retention of habeas corpus and the ‘Hound of Hounslow’ flash crash trading case. Charlotte Powell was a Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Extradition Law Inquiry and Paul Garlick is an International Expert to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation.

Regulatory and disciplinary: Chambers has vast experience in dealing with regulatory work from health and safety, including death in the work place and corporate manslaughter, to regulatory and disciplinary proceedings, before the GMC, NMC, GOC and SRA, amongst others. Chambers handles all nature of hybrid criminal proceedings before tribunals including the coroners court, public enquiries and mental health review tribunals. Members also appear before the Football Association.

Above material supplied by Furnival Chambers (Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC).

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