The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC

32 FURNIVAL STREET, LONDON, EC4A 1JQ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7405 3232
Fax:
Fax 020 7405 3322
DX:
72 LONDON CHANCERY LANE
Email:
Web:
www.furnivalchambers.co.uk

Craig Harris

Tel:
Work 020 7405 3232
Email:
Furnival Chambers (Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC)

Work Department

Specialist in Sports law; Serious Crime; Confiscation & Asset Forfeiture; Licensing; Costs

Position

Call: 2006

Direct Access Qualified

Ranked as a leading junior by The Legal 500, for his "high aptitidue for dealing with thorny arguments".

Acknowledged for his “boundless knowledge” as a contributor to Young, Summers & Corker on Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings (Bloomsbury, 3rd ed). 

Career

Expertise includes:

  • Sports law
  • Serious crime, including murder and organised crime
  • Restraint, asset forfeiture and confiscation proceedings
  • Recovery of private costs in the criminal courts
  • Disciplinary tribunal proceedings
  • Regulatory and driving offences
  • Licensing committee hearings

Has conducted cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the UK Supreme Court (leave proceedings), and is regularly instructed in the most serious and complex criminal matters before the Court of Appeal and at trial.  

He also appears before sports disciplinary tribunals, often representing high-profile individuals and the Football Association.

Appointed to sit as Chair on the England Boxing and Football Association Anti-Discrimination disciplinary panels.

Retained counsel on the League Managers Association and Sport Resolutions panel of counsel.

Recent criminal cases:

Recent sports work:

  • Acted for Sheffield Wednesday FC’s manager Carlos Carvalhal
  • The Football Association v Arsene Wenger – see the Commission’s decision here
  • Represented the FA at a high-profile Premier League player’s appeal against suspension
  • Retained counsel on the League Managers Association and Sport Resolutions panels
  • Appointed to sit as Chair of the England Boxing and FA National Anti-Discrimination disciplinary panels

Other notable cases:

  • R v Malachi Halstead (2017) - GBH by chopping off finger in a drugs dispute
  • R v Frank Tamale (2017) - Perverting the course of justice arising out of the murder of Khiry Ford
  • Operation Kruse (2017) - Seriies of tit-for-tat shootings in gang warfare in the Bedford area
  • The Surjeet Singh killing (2014)
  • The Reece Menzies murder (2013)
  • R v Robinson-Pierre [2013] EWCA Crim 2396 - Seminal case concerning strict liability under the Dangerous Dogs Act
  • Harkins and Edwards v the UK (European Court of Human Rights, 2012) - On whether life imprisonmnet without parole in the US violates A.3 of the European Convention
  • High profile clients: Thomas Hitzlsperger, Derek Chisora, Eric Hall, Franz Drameh, Tempa T
Please see counsel's Chambers website for more details of notable cases.

SERIOUS CRIME & ASSET FORFEITURE

A criminal defence specialist.

Regularly appears in cases of murder, kidnap, serious violence, firearms, large-scale drugs operations (including ‘Europe’s largest drugs conspiracy and the UK’s largest importation), arson, serious sexual offences and offences of dishonesty, including fraud and proceedings for perverting the course of justice.

Expertise includes:

  • Complicated conspiracy cases, centring around Organised Criminal Networks
  • Defending sensitive cases involving informants and Public Interest Immunity-protected material
  • Significant Trading Standards and Local Authority prosecutions
  • Sensitive cases concerning sexual conduct and related matters
  • Advising independently on appeal following criminal conviction
  • Applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission

Particularly well-regarded for cases involving novel law and legal argument, as well as those involving complex issues of expert evidence.  

Has advised and represented clients across the spectrum of driving offences.

Experienced in conducting all ancillary proceedings that arise particularly out of drugs, fraud, money laundering and other dishonesty cases and has contested multi-million pound confiscation proceedings, forfeiture applications and applications for disqualification of directors.

Also experienced in dealing with cases concerning the mental health provisions and historial allegations.  He has conducted cases centring on fitness to plead, not-insane automatism and insanity defences, and cases involving young and vulnerable defendants and witnesses.


SPORTS DISCIPLINARY 

Appointed to sit as Chair on:

  • The Football Association’s National Anti-Discrimination Panel; and
  • The England Boxing Disciplinary Panel.

Retained on The League Managers Association and Sport Resolutions panels of counsel, advising and representing managers of clubs in the Premier League and EFL through the LMA and acting in a wide range of sporting disputes through Sport Resolutions.

Has acted for the Football Association and numerous high-profile clients, appearing regularly before Football Association Regulatory Commission and Appeal Board hearings.  Cases include:

  • The FA v Carlos Carvalhal
  • The FA v Arsene Wenger
  • A high-profile Premier League player’s appeal against suspension – the “Battle of Stamford Bridge” (Chelsea v Tottenham, 2015/16 season)
  • The Witton Park Rose & Crown FC v Black Bull AFC mass confrontation
  • Multiple on and off-field disciplinary matters
  • Violations of the “insider” betting regulations

Other high profile clients from the sports world have included Thomas Hitzlsperger (former Germany international and Premier League player, “Der Hammer”), Derek Chisora (boxing) and Eric Hall (renowned sports agent).

CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

Has appeared before:

  • Licensing Committee hearings
  • Disciplinary tribunals
  • The County Court
  • The Coroner’s Court

Is available to conduct site visits and provide advice at all stages of the licensing process, from the application and renewal stage through to breach and revocation proceedings.


PUBLICATIONS & LECTURES

Acknowledged contributor to Young, Summers & Corker on Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings (Bloomsbury, 3rd ed.)

Policy Knowledge Event Lecture: A New Strategy to Tackle Dangerous Dogs – Assessing the Reforms to the Dangerous Dogs Act, May 2015

Member

Middle Temple, 2006; Criminal Bar Association; South Eastern Circuit; LSE Alumni network

Education

London School of Economics & Political Science, Law LLB, 2005


London Bar

Crime (general crime)

Within: Crime (general crime) – Leading juniors

Craig Harris - Furnival Chambers β€˜He has a superb eye for detail and grasps the key issues in a case quickly, however substantial or complex the evidence.’

[back to top]

Fraud: crime

Within: Fraud: crime – Leading juniors

Craig Harris - Furnival Chambers β€˜An excellent tactician, appreciated for his thorough approach.’

[back to top]

Sport

Within: Sport – Leading juniors

Craig Harris - Furnival Chambers β€˜An impressive advocate and a pleasure to work with.’

[back to top]


Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to