Tim Owen QC
Tim is a highly regarded specialist in a wide range of practice areas that span the fields of criminal, public, human rights and civil law. His practice embraces pre-litigation advice, trial and appellate work and he is valued as an advocate with specialist knowledge of the criminal, regulatory and civil law aspects of complex investigations who can provide strategic advice to companies, governments and individuals from the earliest stage through to trial and, if necessary, to appeal. He is variously praised in the legal Directories as “a sublime, elegant advocate”, “a delight to work alongside”, “as good as it gets”, “brave and relentless with excellent judgment”, “a gifted trial lawyer and brilliant appellate advocate”, “someone who gets to the heart of the issues with great skill”, “able to build a great rapport with judges” and a lawyer who “provides clear guidance through difficult problems”.
Tim has appeared in more than 40 appeals to the House of Lords/Supreme Court (with three appeals pending in 2014) as well as numerous appeals to the Court of Appeal in both public and criminal law cases, particularly those which raise novel, legally complex issues. He has acted in a wide range of business crime cases (both at trial and appellate level) involving market abuse, bribery/corruption, sanctions offences, cartel offences, frauds of all kinds, insider dealing and other regulatory offences. His clients include FTSE 100 and 250 companies, foreign governments and corporations, individual clients and the DPP. Widely acknowledged as an outstanding appellate advocate, he has unrivalled experience in miscarriage of justice appeals arising from references by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He is valued for his team working ability, his approachability, his ability to absorb a mass of complex information, his skills in cross examination and his ability to present difficult arguments to jurors and Judges alike in plain, clear language. He has extensive experience of cases involving an international, cross border dimension and has appeared in the courts of Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands in both civil and criminal cases.
Tim’s recent case load includes the successful defence of former iSOFT Director Stephen Graham on a charge of market abuse, acting for Andrey Lugovoy (former KGB officer and member of Russian Dumas accused of murdering Litvinenko) before the inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, advising a major bank under investigation for Libor fixing; appearing before the Hong Kong Court of Appeal in a fraud case raising major constitutional issues concerning the non-availability of mutual legal assistance as between Hong Kong and China; acting for Andre Monteil in relation to the Trinidad based Commission of Inquiry into the failure of Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO); acting for the DPP in a series of appeals concerning the legality of prosecuting potential Vietnamese child victims of human trafficking; acting for life long peace protester John Catt in his judicial review challenge to his inclusion on ACPO’s domestic extremism database; acting for Christopher Jefferies in his claim against the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset in relation to the murder of Jo Yates; advising the Hong Kong DPP in relation to a complex appeal relating to convictions for misconduct in public office and acting in a judicial review challenge concerning the Ministry of Defence’s revised interrogation policy (“challenge direct”) authorised for use by military personnel engaged in interrogation and tactical questioning of foreign nationals during overseas military operations.
Tim is an Advisory Editor of Blackstone's Criminal Practice 2014 and the editor/author of numerous publications including Asset Recovery: Criminal Confiscation and Civil Recovery (OUP, 2014), Prison Law, 4th edition (OUP, 2008) and Blackstone's Guide to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (OUP, 2005). He is a regular lecturer, writer and speaker on topical legal issues. In addition to his practice at the Bar, Tim sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative Court, he is a Recorder of the Crown Court and in April 2013 he was appointed an Acting Judge to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.
- R v. Stephen Graham & ors (successful defence of former iSOFT director on market abuse conspiracy charge)
- R v. PD and EB (Iraq Sanctions) (first prosecution for supplying arms to Iraq in breach of the Iraq (UN Sanctions Order) 2003
- R v. Dahdaleh (prosecution of British based business man charged and acquitted of bribery in relation to supply of aluminium to Bahrain)
- HKSAR v. Hon Ming Kong (conspiracy to defraud and market abuse appeal by Chairman of two HK public companies raising issues of constitutional law arising from lack of MLA arrangements between Hong Kong and mainland China)
- JSC BTA Bank v. Shalabayev (contempt proceedings against former Director of JSC BTA bank)
- In re Commission of Inquiry into the failure of Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) (Trinidad based public inquiry into collapse of major Caribbean insurance company)
- In re Libor fixing (advising major international bank under investigation for Libor fixing)
- R (Redknapp) v. City of London police (corruption inquiry into Premiership football)
- R v. Stanford (internet entrepreneur charged with unlawful email hacking)
- R v. Onuigbo & others (laundering proceeds of corruption of former Nigerian State Governor, James Ibori)
- R v. L and ors (conjoined appeals by children who claimed that their prosecution and conviction for cannabis cultivation amounted to abuse of process as in breach of Anti Human Trafficking Convention)
- R v. Horncastle & others (appeal to House of Lords concerning compatibility of hearsay provisions of CJA 2003 with requirements of Article 6 ECHR)
- R v. G (appeal to House of Lords by 15 year old child concerning compatibility of strict liability offence of rape in Sexual Offences Act 2003 with ECHR)
- Advising major internet service provider on legality of targeted advertising software in light of interception offences under RIPA 2000
- R (Norris) v. Govt of USA (Tim drafted written intervention on behalf of JUSTICE in House of Lords appeal on legality of USA extradition request in relation to cartel offences)
- R v. Billy Dunlop (first application to retry an acquitted person for murder under new double jeopardy law in CJA 2003)
Confiscation, restraint and proceeds of crime
- R v. Briggs-Price (appeal to House of Lords concerning legality of making a confiscation order in relation to unindicted criminal activity where Crown accepted no benefit derived from index offence – appeal to Strasbourg pending)
- R v. Fields, Sanghani and Sagoo (appeal to Supreme Court concerning proportionality of making benefit finding against co-conspirators in whole sum obtained as opposed to apportioning benefit accordance with the evidence)
- R v. Pomfrett (defending main defendant in long running confiscation proceedings arising from complex missing trader/carousel fraud involving alleged benefit in excess of £120m)
- R v. May, Jennings and Green (leading House of Lords authority on proper approach to calculating confiscation orders ii drugs and non drugs crime)
- Asset Recovery Agency v. Green (what must ARA prove as a precondition for making application for recovery orders against property under POCA)
- R v. Benjafield and Rezvi (whether confiscation proceedings under CJA 1988 and DTA 1994 are compatible with Article 6 (2) ECHR
Human Rights and public law
- R (Adams) v. Sec for Justice (appeal to Supreme Court concerning true scope of statutory compensation scheme for miscarriages of justice
- R (Catt) v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner (judicial review challenge to inclusion of life long 90 year old peace protestor on ACPO’s domestic extremism database)
- HM Treasury v. Mohammed Jabar Ahmed & ors (appeal to Supreme Court concerning legality of terrorist asset freezing regime under Terrorism (UN Measures) Order 2006
- Secretary of State for Home Department v. AF (No 3) (appeal to House of Lords concerning legality of terrorism control orders and whether individuals enjoy minimum right to know case against them under A6 ECHR)
- R (JF by litigation friend) and Thompson v. Home Sec (appeal to Supreme Court concerning compatibility of the indefinite notification requirements for sex offenders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 with A8 ECHR)
- R (James, Lee and Wells) v. Sec of State for Justice (challenge to legality of post tariff detention of IPP prisoners in light of catastrophic failure to anticipate consequences of IPP sentence in terms of need to provide offending behaviour courses)
- R (Harry Roberts) v. Parole Board (appeal to House of Lords concerning legality of Parole Board introducing special advocate procedure to determine release decision of triple police killer Harry Roberts)
- R (Daly) v. Home Secretary (landmark decision of House of Lords concerning proper approach to reviewing public law decisions that engage Convention rights)
- R (Simms and O’Brien) v. Home Secretary (landmark House of Lords ruling on principle of legality in context of successful challenge to Prison Service policy restricting visits to prisoners by journalists
Tim accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.
- Tel: 020 7404 3447