John specialises in crime and extradition.
John has particular experience in cases involving drugs, sexual offences (including historic allegations), serious violence and dishonesty. He has an interest in cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses and has been instructed in cases involving the use of intermediaries to assist defendants with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and those with mental health conditions.
"We are very grateful to John for his sound legal knowledge, advice and guidance. His professional and personable attitude put all of us at ease."
"We were very happy with John’s presentation and familiarity with our son’s case and the benefit of his legal knowledge, experience and attention to detail."
"You were a godsend and one amazing barrister. You gave me confidence, you did not falter, you were very confident and calm in front of the judge, the prosecution and jury. You missed nothing with your cross-examination and often found little gems which highlighted inconsistencies. You made myself and my witnesses feel at ease and gave us all confidence."
Direct Public Access
John accepts direct public access instructions in suitable cases: +44 (0) 207 332 5400.
Professional Panel Appointments
- John is an appointed level 3 CPS Prosecutor.
John has a busy criminal practice and is instructed in the full range of criminal offences.
John has completed vulnerable witness training which supplements his wealth of experience in cases involving those with physical, psychiatric, psychological and behavioural conditions. His ability to identify the potential for previously undiagnosed conditions as well as his skill in adopting the right language and manner to accommodate people’s vulnerabilities mean he is sought-after to appear in cases involving the use of special measures, intermediaries and pre-recorded cross-examination.
He has extensive experience (as junior alone, second junior and led by Queen’s Counsel) of complex multi-handed cases involving large volumes of evidence and in cases running for many weeks at trial. Such cases include murder, conspiracies to supply drugs, to launder money, to burgle and to rob.
John has experience of tackling cell-site, download and other evidence from digital sources. His understanding of technical IT-related evidence means he recognises technical weaknesses in prosecution evidence.
He has acquired expertise in sexual offences, including rape (of adults and children), possessing and distributing indecent images, sexual communication with a child, assault with intent to commit a sexual offence and exposure.
John is regularly instructed in privately-funded cases, including driving cases.
Feedback from clients:
“We are very grateful to John for his sound legal knowledge, advice and guidance. His professional and personable attitude put all of us at ease.” “We were very happy with John’s presentation and familiarity with our son’s case and the benefit of his legal knowledge, experience and attention to detail."
“You were a godsend and one amazing barrister. You gave me confidence, you did not falter, you were very confident and calm in front of the judge, the prosecution and jury. You missed nothing with your cross-examination and often found little gems which highlighted inconsistencies. You made myself and my witnesses feel at ease and gave us all confidence.”
Criminal Prosecutions - Private & Public
John is a Grade 3 CPS prosecutor.
John accepts Private Prosecution instructions.
Extradition & International
John is an experienced extradition practitioner, having represented many requested persons at first instance and on appeal.
Cases of Note
John Oliver secures a unanimous not guilty verdict for a client accused of two counts of rape
John Oliver secures unanimous not guilty verdicts in armed robbery trial
R v ZJ (2023)
D was accused of two offences of rape, which were alleged to have been committed in 2018 but were not reported until 2021. The principal difficulty in the case was that D had very little recollection of the day concerned. However, he maintained that any sexual activity was consensual. His lack of memory presented difficulties for the cross-examination of the Complainant and so the principal focus was on variations in the accounts given by C and a detailed analysis of the circumstances leading up to the alleged offences. The jury unanimously acquitted after just one-hour-and-fifteen minutes’ deliberation. John was instructed by Graeme Hydari and Kit Gamble at Hodge Jones and Allen. John was assisted during the trial by our pupil Amabel Kerr.
R v SR (2023)
John represented D, who was accused of the armed robbery of a bank. D was hospitalised under the MHA shortly after his arrest. Psychiatrists concluded that he could not avail himself of a defence of insanity but concluded that he was so unwell as to be unable to form the necessary mens rea. D did not give evidence. The jury unanimously acquitted D after only two-and-a-half hours’ deliberation. John was instructed by William Bergstrom and Viviane Bablin at Taylor Rose Solicitors. John was assisted during the trial by our pupil Amabel Kerr.
R v J (2021)
Defence - Unanimous acquittal of a male charged with raping a close family member in the 1970s, when both were children. John was instructed three days before the start of the trial.
R v H (2021)
Defence – Unanimous acquittal of an elderly male charged with raping a child he had tutored. Two child witnesses were called by the prosecution and their cross-examination was recorded in advance of the trial (s.28).
R v S (2021)
Prosecution – trial in absence which resulted in the conviction of a man of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on his housemate. Pre-recorded questioning of a child witness (s.28).
R v S (2021)
Defence – successful defence of one of three defendants charged with offences relating to the fraudulent acquisition and conversion of over £200k. John’s client was the only defendant acquitted.
R v H (2021)
Defence – representing a man with a psychiatric condition accused of raping (multiple counts), stalking, controlling and assaulting a female he had known for only a short time.
R v S (2021)
Defence – led by silk in a conspiracy to commit the country’s biggest (in terms of value) residential burglaries. Acquitted following a six-week trial.
R v G (2020)
Defence – defendant charged with wounding with intent - attacking a perfect stranger with a knife - found not guilty by reason of insanity.
R v D (2020)
Defence – unanimous acquittal of a man charged with four counts of rape of a sex worker, whom he was alleged to have held a knifepoint. The defendant did not give evidence.
R v B & others (2019-20)
Prosecution – second junior (led by Harry Hewitt of 5SAH) in a conspiracy to supply large quantities of class A drugs – 5-week trial.
R v T (2019)
Defence – representing one of seven defendants charged with conspiring to supply class A drugs and money laundering – 8-week trial.
R v A (2019)
Defence – mixed verdicts in respect of charges of stalking, making threats to kill and disclosing private sexual photographs. Very unusually, the defendant received a suspended sentence.
R v M (2019)
Defence – five handed affray involving the use of weapons. John’s client was acquitted.
R v W
Successful defence of a female jointly accused of grievous bodily harm (s.18) during an alleged knife attack on a neighbour.
R v W
Defence - young man with Autistic Spectrum Disorder charged with assault with intent to commit a sexual offence. Acquitted.
R v K
Defence – female charged (along with family members) with conspiracy to convert criminal property which involved the sale of appliances stolen from hardware stores across the country.
R v Oryem  EWCA Crim 1699
Successful appeal against conviction and sentence for offences of fraud, possession of articles for use in fraud and possession of a false identity document with intent.
R v El Sheikh  EWCA Crim 718
Successful appeal against sentence for possession of a prohibited firearm.