Heather Oliver

Call: 2010

“An excellent counsel who is good with clients and great to work with.”

Chambers UK 2024: Crime

“Heather is a magnificent advocate who is widely respected by all who come across her.”

Legal 500 2024: Crime

“She is an excellent barrister with a meticulous eye for detail.”

Chambers UK 2023: Crime

“Heather is excellent in court and really good with clients.”

Legal 500 2023: Crime

Heather Oliver has a highly successful and thriving practice encompassing all of Chambers’ areas of expertise, including criminal law, professional discipline, regulatory and licensing work.

Her criminal work is diverse and includes cases that are both serious and complex. She is well known as a powerful and persuasive jury advocate, who regularly achieves excellent results for her clients.

She has a particular specialism in representing police officers, both in criminal trials and in professional misconduct hearings, and is familiar with the unique issues and sensitivities that can arise in such cases.

Legal Expertise

Crime overview

Heather has considerable experience in defending criminal matters before the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, having successfully represented clients accused of a wide spectrum of offences, including those involving violence, sexual misconduct, dishonesty, drugs, public disorder, data protection violations and driving breaches.

She has represented defendants accused of a range of fraudulent offending, including most recently a series of cash for crash frauds (R v HD, Southwark Crown Court) and dishonest travel insurance claims (R v AK, Snaresbrook Crown Court). She has successfully represented clients in numerous money laundering, fraud, forgery and theft proceedings in her own right. She also has substantial experience as a led junior in complex fraud trials. For example, she was led junior representing the first defendant in the FCA prosecution arising from Operation Cotton, a large scale land banking fraud (R v Crawley, Southwark Crown Court), led junior representing the second defendant in bribery and corruption proceedings at the Central Criminal Court, arising out of corrupt payments made to EBRD banker Andrej Ryjenko (R v Sanderson, Central Criminal Court) and led junior representing the first defendant in a significant NHS payroll fraud (R v Mulholland, Basildon Crown Court).

She has recently defended clients accused of rape, sexual assault, exposure/outraging public decency and voyeurism. She has a particular specialism in representing those accused of making/possessing indecent images of children and is experienced in the forensic arguments arising from images discovered in the cache or unallocated space of electronic devices. In 2018, she was led junior in R v Soper (Central Criminal Court), the prosecution of a Catholic priest for wide-ranging historic sexual offences against children.

She has regularly defended clients accused of violent offending, in particular in a domestic context, and including matters relating to stalking, harassment, and coercive and controlling behaviour.

She has represented defendants in various matters concerning the proceeds of crime, including restraint, confiscation, forfeiture and enforcement proceedings. In confiscation proceedings she has most recently achieved favourable results in R v Levy (Chelmsford Crown Court) and for the wife of a convicted offender seeking a determination under section 10A of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in R v Canning (St Albans Crown Court).

She has successfully appeared in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) on a number of occasions, including most recently in R v Dean Hackett [2019] EWCA Crim 983.

Heather has further been instructed to act for the prosecution in criminal matters for the Crown Prosecution Service, Transport for London and the London Probation Service.

Licensing overview

Heather regularly represents licensees, applicants and responsible authorities in licensing matters. Most recently this has included applications on behalf of Tesco Stores Ltd, Pret a Manger and various West End restaurants/cafes.

She has represented the Metropolitan Police Service in licensing matters as well as applications for football banning orders, applications to extend pre-charge bail and application for a control order under the Dogs Act 1871.

She has substantial experience in representing and advising individuals and enforcing authorities in the field of regulatory enforcement, including food safety and hygiene, and taxi licensing. Her experience is particularly broad in relation to matters of fire safety, where she has advised on and conducted numerous prosecutions on behalf of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, including in relation to breaches at a takeaway restaurant (LFEPA v Chicken Inn and Takeaway Ltd and Ahmed, which included the successful resistance of an appeal against sentence in the Court of Appeal), a pub and boarding house (LFEPA v The Good Intent), a care home in which a fire broke out resulting in the death of an elderly resident (LFEPA v GCH (Burrows House) Ltd), a West London hotel (LFEPA v Patel, which included the successful resistance of an appeal against sentence in the Court of Appeal) and various houses in multiple occupation/bedsits.

Professional Discipline overview

Heather specialises in representing police officers facing disciplinary proceedings for gross misconduct, and has considerable experience in providing advice, drafting and advocacy services in professional misconduct hearings. Recently this has included the successful resistance of gross misconduct findings in relation to allegations of racism, sexual touching, excessive force on arrest, and homophobic abuse.

Public inquiries and inquests overview

Heather acts for interested persons in Coroners’ Inquests. She has most recently acted as junior to Neil Saunders in relation to the Inquest into the death of Edson Da Costa, representing five officers who detained an individual who had swallowed a large quantity of Class A drugs.

Heather was instructed by the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) in 2016/2017.


R v DS
2019, Reading CC
Secured the acquittal of a defendant accused of rape, 15 years after the offence was said to have occurred.

R v HC
(2018), Croydon CC
Successfully represented a police officer accused of sexual assault in the back of a taxi.

R v OD
2018, Inner London CC
Successfully defended a police officer accused of voyeurism, namely spying on a colleague in the shower.

R v Pearson
2018, Central Criminal Court
Secured an absolute discharge for a police officer found guilty of burglary. The case raised complex matters of expert evidence relating to drink spiking and the metabolism of hallucinogenic drugs.

R v Smith
2018, Wimbledon MC
Successfully defended a young Asperger’s sufferer accused of racially aggravated public order offences.  The case involved expert evidence concerning the defendant’s capability of forming the requisite mens rea due to his condition.

R v van Dijk
2017, Willesden MC
Successfully represented a defendant accused of multiple assaults by his ex-wife.  The case involved sensitive issues relating to the giving of evidence by young witnesses.

R v RT
2017, Southwark CC
Secured the acquittal of a police officer accused of data protection offences, namely the obtaining and disclosure of material from police computers.

R v AS
2017, Southwark CC
Secured the acquittal of a police officer accused of assaulting a colleague in an off-duty altercation.

R v FS
2017, Southwark CC
Successfully defended one of four police officers accused of misconduct in a public office in relation to the arrest of a youth offender which resulted in injury.

R v SB
2016, Guildford CC
Successfully defended an employer accused of sexually assaulting his young employee.

R v Rolph
2016 Peterborough CC
Secured the acquittal of a defendant accused of acting as a courier in a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

R v D
2015, Winchester CC
Successfully defended a police officer accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following an off-duty altercation.

R v Adams
2015, Kingston CC
Secured the acquittal of a mother accused of child cruelty and actual bodily harm in relation to the physical chastisement of her child.

R v Witney
2015, Chelmsford CC
Successfully represented a man accused of causing death by careless driving.

R v AH
2013, Southwark CC
Successfully appealed the conviction of a police officer accused of making indecent images of children.

Professional discipline

Successful defence of honesty and integrity allegations concerning arrest and detention of violent suspect.

Defending allegations of sexual touching on work night out.

Former PC W (MPS)
Allegations not proven in relation to sexual comments and touching of vulnerable women.

Defending allegations of misuse of travel privileges.

Successfully resisted gross misconduct allegations arising from stop and search (use of force, honesty and integrity).

Successfully resisted gross misconduct findings relating to alleged racist abuse at St Pancras Station.

Allegations not proven in relation to sexual touching on work night out.

“An excellent counsel who is good with clients and great to work with.”  Chambers UK 2024:  Crime

“Heather is a magnificent advocate who is widely respected by all who come across her.”  Legal 500 2024:  Crime

“She is an excellent barrister with a meticulous eye for detail.”  Chambers UK 2023:  Crime

“Heather is excellent in court and really good with clients.”  Legal 500 2023:  Crime

“Well briefed, extremely personable and client friendly.”  Chambers UK 2022: Crime

“An excellent barrister who shows great attention to detail.”  Chambers UK 2021:  Crime

Heather is ranked in Legal 500 2022:  Crime

“She is extremely thorough and dedicated.”  Chambers UK 2021:  Crime

Heather is ranked in Chambers UK 2020 :  Crime

“A class act in court: strong on the papers, and a fantastic legal mind for the complex law.” Legal 500 2019: Crime

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Health & Safety Lawyers Association
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • BA (Oxon) – English Language and Literature (First Class)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)
  • Bar Vocational Course (Outstanding)
  • Pegasus International Scholarship (2016)
  • Princess Royal Scholarship (Inner Temple)
  • City University Scholarship (Inner Temple)
  • Marshall Hall Trust Committee

In 2016, Heather was awarded an international Pegasus Scholarship by the Inns of Court and was fortunate to be offered a 6-week placement in the USA, supported by Pegasus funding and a grant from Three Raymond Buildings.

You can read about her experiences in the Inner Temple Yearbook 2017-18

I, Heather Oliver, am a data controller and can be contacted at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5BH or by telephone on 020 7400 6400 or by email at heather.oliver@3rblaw.com. My Data Protection Policy can be found below.

All personal data that I process is for the purposes of providing legal services, conducting conflict-checks, marketing, defending potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes, keeping anti-money laundering records, training other barristers and pupils and when providing work-shadowing opportunities, and/or exercising a right to a lien. The types of data I process vary upon the nature of the legal matter in relation to which I am engaged to advise, but can include names, contact details, biographic details and ‘special category personal data’ (such as details of racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health, sex life and criminal convictions and proceedings).

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the legal bases upon which I process personal data are (i) the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, (ii) the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations to which I am subject, or (iii) the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests set out above, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subjects which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child. When I rely on (iii) legitimate interests, my ‘Legitimate Interests Assessment’ can be found here. When I process data which has not been obtained directly from the data subject (e.g. personal data contained in evidential materials), it will have been supplied to me as part of my instructions in circumstances covered by legal professional privilege.

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, I may share the personal data with:

  1. my Chambers, which supplies professional and administrative support to my practice;
  2. Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;
  3. my lay and professional clients;
  4. potential witnesses, in particular experts, and friends or family of the data subject;
  5. solicitors, barristers, pupils, mini pupils and other legal representatives;
  6. ombudsmen and regulatory authorities;
  7. current, past or prospective employers;
  8. education and examining bodies;
  9. business associates, professional advisers and trade bodies.

I retain personal data for no longer than 7 years after the case has come to an end or as otherwise required by law.

I do not intend to transfer data to any country which is not either within the European Union, ‘white listed’ by the EU or otherwise permitted by EU law (e.g. to the USA under the provisions of the ‘Privacy Shield’).

Under the GDPR, data subjects whose personal data I process have the right to request from me access to, and rectification or erasure of, their personal data, the right to the restriction of processing concerning them, the right to object to processing as well as the right to data portability. Data subjects also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ico.org.uk).

In cases where there is a contract between me and the data subject, the provision of personal data is a contractual requirement and the data subject is obliged to provide the personal data in order that I can supply legal services. A failure to provide such data may mean that I will not be able to provide the legal services.

Rev 1.1 – 25.05.2018

Data Protection Policy

Legitimate Interests Assessment

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