Oliver has been repeatedly listed for 20 years in the top category of leading silks in crime in both Chambers & Partners and in Legal 500. He was nominated in the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2010 as Crime Silk of the Year. From 2017 onwards he has been recognised annually as the Serious Crime Barrister of the Year in England by Corporate INTL Global Awards, Global Law Experts, ACQ Global Awards, Corporate Livewire Global Awards, Leading in Law Global Awards and International Advisory Experts Annual Awards.
In the last year he successfully represented John Polycarpou, Chairman of Polyteck, in an allegation of bribery at the Southwark Crown Court (05/09/2019)
Recent past cases include his successful representation of News International employees, Graham Dudman (Managing Editor) and Brandon Malinsky (Night Editor) in two separate trials involving the Sun News paper. He was also instructed on behalf of three other editors / journalists whose cases were discontinued prior to trial.
He has twice been instructed by the British Boxing Board of Control in successfully resisting two appeals (Couch and Chisora).
According to the last 10 Chambers and Partners Directories he has been described as:
“Pre-eminent defence silk who charms the jury and will not let go until the fight is won” (2019)
“Very much at the top of the tree. A phenomenal lawyer who can leave you awestruck” (2018)
“A quality performer. An extremely talented and exceptional silk” (2017)
“A wonderful polished advocate (2016)”
“A first class silk for heavyweight criminal trials, such as murder and drugs cases”. “Always very good, so experienced and laid back”. (2015).
“First-rate”. His judgement is excellent and he has a very disarming court room manner”. (2014)
“Universally acclaimed” Oliver Blunt QC is described as “one of the Longstanding Leaders of the Bar”(2013) “a master tactician with an absolute command of the courts” with “a sense of panache and drama”. (2012) “supremely bright with a very good way with the jury and enviable cross examination skills” (2011) and “one of the hardest hitting silks at the Bar. He is a real street fighter and gives great jury speeches” (2010), “tremendously effective and a real heavyweight in the courtroom” (2009).
Oliver’s track record more than justifies the plaudits. Focused on murder, terrorism, fraud, drugs and bribery cases, his experience in violent crime in unsurpassed. Instructed in over one hundred murder cases. In the past he has represented Michael Sams (kidnapping, blackmail and murder) and John Taft (the “Beauty in the bath” murder) and appeared in other high profile cases as the Syd Owen (“Ricky” from Eastenders) wounding trial and R v William Cockram and others, the Millennium Dome robbery. Oliver was also instructed in the notorious cases of R v Peter Tobin (murder dating back to 1991 linked to the Vicky Hamilton murder tried in 2006 in Scotland) and R v Iain Davis (double murder re-trial following House of Lords ruling on anonymous witnesses). He is regularly instructed in gang related murders at the Central Criminal Court and around the country.
In 2016 he represented the lead appellant in Lewis Johnson and Others before the Court of Criminal Appeal in the conjoined ‘joint enterprise’ appeals, following upon the Supreme Court ruling in Regina v Jogee.
In 2016 he secured the discharge of Reza Yunis in a celebrated Conspiracy to Murder case at Birmingham Crown Court.
Terrorism trials have formed a significant part of Oliver’s practice recently, with his involvement in R v Sharif, arising out of the 21/7/05 attempted bombings in London. However, his terrorism experience goes back over several decades and includes IRA trials and appearances on behalf of the Iranian embassy and its consular staff. He was also instructed in Ul-Haq and Others, an ISIS related trial heard at the Central Criminal Court (2016).
Oliver’s experience in fraud and white collar crime includes a number of large and complex cases. These range from a £200 million shipping fraud, a multi-million pound arson/insurance fraud, and money laundering cases, to an electoral fraud trial. Oliver also represented Devi Schahou in the much-publicised Goldman Sachs fraud trial. In 2009 Oliver secured the acquittal of the defendant Colwell in relation to the highly publicised Sayers conspiracies to commit large scale mortgage fraud in the North-East.
Oliver’s track record in the area of drugs crime is also extensive and impressive, and includes successfully defending the first defendant Hillier in an £150 million pound cocaine importation case. He represented the defendant Goren in a multi-million pound conspiracy to import heroin from Turkey. He has appeared for the defendant Cornick in a case involving the importation of tonnes of cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine into the UK. In 2014 he secured the acquittal of the principal defendant in Mohanjit Bhatia and Others at Kingston Crown Court.
His exclusively defence-based practice also includes high profile sexual offences for example, Richard Baker “the DJ rapist” and blackmail, for example the case of Amerdeep Johal, a serving police officer accused of blackmailing known sex offenders.
In 2017 he appeared for the Viscount St Davids in his appeal for offences under the Communications Act 2003.
Oliver regularly appears in the list of highest earning criminal barristers.
- Notable cases
R v Andrew Johnson (2013)
R v Temidire Owolabi (2012)
Conspiracy to Murder
R v Thulani Khumalo (2012)
Oxford Street Boxing Day Murder
R v Matthew Taylor (2012)
R v Zeleke Forde (2012)
R v Mandy Fleming (2011)
Conspirace to murder.
R v Dlugosz (2011)
Low copy nuymber DNA case
R v Amoah & Others (2011)
Victoria Station murder.
R v Menezes (2010)
Pitbull assisted murder.
R v Razal Khan (2010)
Arson-related double murder and triple attempted murder.
R v Hussein (2010)
Double murder in Tooting
R v Johnson (2010)
R v Peter Brown (2010)
Two separate murders in Nottingham
R v Davis (2009)
Double murder re-trial following House of Lords ruling on anonymous witnesses.
R v Uddin (2009)
R v Tobin (2009)
Murder dating back to 1991 linked to the Vicky Hamilton murder tried in Scotland in 2006
R v Colwell & others (2009)
Highly publicised Sayers conspiracies to commit large scale mortgage fraud in the North-East.
R v Johal (2008)
Blackmail case involving a serving police officer accused of blackmailing known sex offenders.
R v Goren (2008)
Multi-million pound conspiracy to import heroin from Turkey.
R v Butt & others (2007)
Tooting double murder trial and successful appeal against conviction.
R v Sharif (2007)
Trial arising out of the 21/7 bombing attempts.
R v Larcenko (2006)
R v Dorian Morris (2005)
Successfully defended in multi-million pound money laundering trial.
R v Schahou (2004)
The Goldman Sachs fraud trial
R v Kounnou (2003)
A £200 million shipping fraud at the Central Criminal Court.
R v William Cockram and Others (2002)
The trial of the Millennium Dome robbers at the Central Criminal Court.
R v John Taft (1999)
The so-called ‘Beauty in the Bath’ murder involving the re-opening of an unsolved crime from 1983, which had produced 250 possible suspects. Heard at Liverpool Crown Court, November 1999.
R v Syd Owen (1995)
Successfully defended “Ricky” of Eastenders in his S.18 wounding trial.
R v Michael Sams (1993)
Trial involving allegations of kidnapping, blackmail & murder.
R v Hillier and Others (1993)
Successfully defended the first defendant in a £150 million cocaine importation trial.
R v Canning and Lamb (1993)
Appeared for the second defendant in this IRA trial at the Central Criminal Court.
R v Drake and Others (1987)
The trial and successful appeal of the ‘Chelsea Headhunters’.