Brian O'Neill KC

Brian O’Neill KC

"Brian has a commanding presence and owns the courtroom: when he speaks, people listen."
"Brian is a true heavyweight. He is a clear, strategic thinker, which is essential in large-scale fraud cases, as well as a robust and persuasive advocate."

Legal 500 UK 2024
Year of call: 1987 KC: 2010
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Sports Law

Brian has appeared in numerous high profile cases and has represented a number of Premiership footballers accused of serious violence, sexual assault and public order offences: out of respect for their privacy their names have been anonymised and media links removed.


The FA v Ivan Toney


The defendant, a Premier League footballer was charged with more than 200 breaches of the prohibition on betting.  The breaches took place over a period of four years and included a number of aggravated breaches including bets on football matches in which the defendant was playing. The defendant admitted all of the breaches and was banned from football for eight months.

The case was widely reported and commented upon in the national media: Sky News | BBC | The Guardian | The FA

Pagliara, Price & Wright

Appearance: Prosecution

The defendants, two football agents and the former assistant manager of Barnsley FC were convicted of offences under the Bribery Act in December 2019 following a two months’ long trial at Southwark Crown Court.

The case stemmed from an extensive undercover investigation into alleged corruption in football by The Daily Telegraph in 2016, the most high-profile casualty of which was Sam Allardyce, the then England manager, who resigned his position.

The case was widely covered in the national press, click the links to read more here.

Following the trial Brian was instructed by The Football Association in respect of disciplinary proceedings against Price and Wright.


Defence of a professional footballer accused with three other players of sexually assaulting a young woman in a hotel room. Brian’s client was acquitted of all charges. The solicitor for one of the co-defendants described Brian as “the stand out Silk in the case”.


Defence of a professional footballer accused of wounding a night club doorman with intent to do grievous bodily. Brian’s client was acquitted of all charges.


Defence of a professional footballer accused of a public order offence following his sending off in a Premier League match.


Defence of a professional footballer accused of assault following an incident involving rival fans.

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