Firm profile submitted by Furnival Chambers
Heads of Chambers: Oliver Blunt QC, Sally O’Neill QC
Senior Clerk: Stephen Ball
Deputy senior clerk: Joel Mason
Clerks: Leon Muir Christopher Baptiste Ryan Budd
THE CHAMBERS Furnival Chambers is a leading criminal set, boasting 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 proceedings.
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 before 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, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Football Association and other sports regulatory bodies.
A ‘go to’ set for high-profile, complex cases and those involving novel law, members were involved in the first ever prosecutions for domestic servitude within marriage (R v Ahmed) and the first ever prosecution for bribery under the new legislation (R v Patel & Others). Members also regularly conduct cases in the Commonwealth and in particular the Caribbean jurisdictions.
Chambers enjoys particular expertise in the following fields:
Serious & Organised Crime: Chambers has long been instructed in top-end work at trial and appellate levels, including the first post-Jogee murder appeals, the News International phone hacking (Op. Elvedon) trials, the Hatton Garden Jewellery raid, the Stephen Lawrence murder, the Millenium Dome conspiracy, the murders of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, Gordon Semple and Shahena Uddin, the murder of Sarah Payne, “Baby P”, the prosecution of Princess Diana’s butler, the £50m Tonbridge robbery, 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: Members have appeared in Operation Yewtree cases, the Aylesbury sex ring case, 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.
Financial Crime & Asset Forfeiture: Members have appeared in a multitude of high value fraud and asset forfeiture cases, including the UBS rogue trader case (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 high-net worth individuals in international/ multi-jurisdictional proceedings, recently including global dividend-arbitrage and withholding tax reclaim investigations and the Alstom bribery investigation.
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 & Disciplinary: Chambers has vast experience in dealing with regulatory and disciplinary proceedings before the GMC, NMC (including the Morecambe Bay Healthcare Trust case, concerning alleged misconduct of midwives leading to the death of a baby and endangerment of another’s life), 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 Football Association and other sporting regulatory authorities, both for the authorities and individuals/teams concerned.
Clerking & Practice Support: Chambers practice areas are supported by specialist clerking teams. The team as a whole is highly regarded and offers a range of counsel of appropriate call for the work concerned. This is an approachable team dedicated to providing the best solutions for client needs.