Brian O'Neill QC

Brian O’Neill QC

"His calm and confident manner means he is in great demand."

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

Business Crime & Financial Services

Brian is particularly sought after in ‘paper heavy’ and substantial multi handed cases where his analytical skills, attention to detail and strong advocacy are highly valued. He is regularly instructed by both leading defence solicitors and prosecution agencies in this sector including the CPS HQ’s Specialist Fraud Division.
He advises corporate clients in this jurisdiction and abroad and gives advice to foreign Governments. He has advised UK and overseas companies in respect of their and their Directors’ liabilities in on-going and potential proceedings in this and other jurisdictions. He has advised the Government of the Cayman Islands in relation to allegations of bribery and corruption in the course of a major inter-governmental investigation.


Mills, Scourfield & Others

Appearance: Prosecution

In January 2017 following a 4 to 5 months’ trial at Southwark Crown Court David Mills, his wife Alison, Michael Bancroft, Mark Dobson and Tony Cartwright were convicted of a variety of offences including conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and conspiracy to launder criminal property. Lynden Scourfield, the HBoS banker, had pleaded ‘guilty’ to the same counts in August 2016 shortly before the trial commenced.

The corrupt relationship which developed between David Mills and Scourfield lay at the heart of the prosecution’s case. Mills corrupted Scourfield and his fellow HBoS banker Dobson who as a consequence gave him and his wife and their associates the opportunity to earn substantial fees as consultants to various companies which were under their control and to take some of them over. But the consultancy fees which Mills and the others received were only a fraction of the benefit and remuneration which he in particular gained as a result of his involvement with numerous companies.

The investigation, one of the largest ever undertaken by Thames Valley Police, generated a vast amount of material giving rise to questions about how such cases and in particular the disclosure issues which they generate can best be managed by the prosecution.

The case was widely covered in the national press, click the links to read more: BBC | The Guardian | The Telegraph | The Sun

Frisby & Shakespeare

Appearance: Prosecution

The defendants were convicted of a number of counts of fraudulent trading following a 3 to 4 months’ trial. The allegations related to their operation of a number of companies which attracted £millions from private investors and equally substantial investment from various banks in a ‘land banking’ ‘Ponzi’ fraud. This was one of the first cases in the country in which the jury bundle was presented on an iPad.


Appearance: Defence

Instructed to represent a barrister accused of tax fraud and perjury. The case which gave rise to a number of complex issues in the crossover area between criminal and chancery law.

Operation Umber

Appearance: Prosecution

The defendants are accused of offences under the Bribery Act following an investigation into corruption in football by undercover journalists in 2016. The case is listed for trial in October 2019.

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