Oliver has a commercial and common law practice, with a particular focus on regulatory and health & safety cases, and product liability claims. He won ‘Health and Safety Junior of the Year’ at the 2012 Chambers UK Bar Awards. He was appointed silk this year.

He has for many years been recommended by Chambers UK and the Legal 500 as a leading junior in health & safety and product liability.  He is also recommended by the Legal 500 in environmental law and personal injury claims, and has been listed by Legal Week as one of the top rated members of the bar.

In relation to his health & safety expertise, Oliver has been described in the Legal Directories as being “an incredibly smooth and persuasive advocate”; “really immersed in the area”; “an outstanding performer”; “very good at inspiring confidence in clients”; “has a razor sharp mind”; is “extremely intelligent” and is “someone who handles complex and sensitive cases extremely well”.

In the field of product liability, the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners have commented that Oliver “is absolutely tip-top and shows a deft touch in court that is as good as you would see anywhere at the Bar”; that he “has a commercial approach and ability to find the right solution for the client”; and “is more than capable of holding his own against silk in product liability”.

Health and Safety, Inquests and Environmental

Health & Safety  

Oliver specialises in health and safety prosecutions, and has been involved in many of the highest-profile and most serious health and safety prosecutions over the last 10 years.  He is the chair of Henderson Chambers health and safety practice group, and his practice encompasses all aspects of health and safety and regulatory litigation, representing both companies and individuals prosecuted for health and safety offences.

Oliver has been recommended in health & safety for many years by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, and won the award for Health and Safety Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards in 2012.    He is a founder member and on the executive committee of the Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association.

Oliver has particular expertise in manslaughter prosecutions and other health safety prosecutions arising from fatalities.  He successfully defended one of the individual defendants in the prosecution resulting from the Hatfield train crash.  More recent cases include successfully defending at trial corporate defendants following: a fatal crane accident, a serious accident at Tilbury docks, and an NHS Trust in a prosecution arising out of a fatal accident to one of its employees.

His experience spans many different industries and sectors.  These have included prosecutions arising from accidents at construction sites, accidents at sea, in hospitals and care homes, in docks, in nurseries and schools, from electrical and other fires, and from road and railway accidents.

Oliver has appeared in the Court of Appeal on several occasions in health and safety cases.  He appeared in R v Sellafield and Network Rail (CA), the leading authority on sentencing of large companies, and Ashtead Plant Hire (CA) in relation to the application of the Electricity at Work Regulations.

Inquests

Oliver has acted in several major inquests, including the inquests into the Potters Bar and Ufton Nervet rail accidents, the inquest in relation to the Basildon hospital legionella outbreaks, the Bridgewater Place inquest, and the inquest into the Avonmouth bridge disaster.

Environmental

Oliver has considerable experience of both criminal and civil environmental, waste management and pollution claims.   He is recommended by the Legal 500 for environmental claims.

He regularly represents defendants charged with offences under the Environmental Protection Act and the Environmental Permitting Regulations.  He also has extensive experience of civil environmental and pollution claims, including group actions.

Oliver represented one of the corporate defendants in the Marks and Spencer asbestos prosecution, and successfully defended a claim in relation to asbestos removal from the Corus headquarters building.  He also recently represented BP in a 5 month trial of an environmental group action in relation to an oil pipeline built in Colombia (the OCENSA Group litigation).

In the field of Health & Safety, Inquests and Environmental the Legal Directories comment:

“An extremely able advocate. …. He remains a leader in the field.”  (Legal 500 2015)

“He has particularly good analytical skills, and his advocacy is very appealing” (Chambers & Partners 2015)

“An incredibly incisive advocate, who has very good judgment“(Chambers & Partners 2014)

“He is the pick of senior juniors for health and safety”. (Legal 500 2013).

“He is superb” (Chambers & Partners 2013)

“He is attuned to clients legal, commercial and reputational needs” (Legal 500 2013)

He is well regarded for his independence of thought and his performances in the line of fire” (Chambers & Partners 2012).

He is absolutely tip-top and shows a deft touch in court that is as good as you would see anywhere at the Bar” (Chambers & Partners 2012).

He is very good at inspiring confidence in clients” (Chamber & Partners 2012);

He is very knowledgeable and utterly dependable” (Legal 500 2011);

He has a razor sharp mind” (Chambers & Partners 2011);

He is highly regarded for his commercial approach and ability to find the right solution for the client” (Chambers & Partners 2011).

He is very level headed, thorough and reliable” (Legal 500 2010);

“He gets straight to the meat of the argument and isn’t one for waffling” (Chambers & Partners 2010).

He is an incredibly smooth and persuasive advocate” (Chambers & Partners 2010).

Statesmanlike in his approach, he is a real class act” (Chambers & Partners 2009).

He is technically marvellous and someone who handles complex and sensitive cases extremely well” (Chambers & Partners 2009).

An outstanding performer, he is extremely intelligent and clients warm to him because he is calm, has authority and exudes an air of decency in what can be very difficult and emotional cases” (Chambers & Partners 2008).

Extremely capable, he is technically very good and gives clear, sensible advice” (Chambers & Partners 2007).

Representative Cases

R v Sellafield and Network Rail [2014] EWCA Crim 49. Sentancing of large companies for regulatory offences.

Berry v Star Autos (Court of Appeal) [2011] EWCA Civ 1304.  Application of the Electricity at Work Regulations.

Wandsworth v Covent Garden Market Authority (QBD) [2011] EWHC 1245. Appeals against improvement notices.

Collett v Middlesbrough Football Club (Court of Appeal) [2009] EWCA Civ 583

Corus v Cavendish UK (QBD) [2009] EWHC 2058. Liability in respect of asbestos removal work.
R (Main) v Minsiter for Legal Aid (Admin) (2007) 96 BMLR 61. Availability of legal aid for inquests.

Cameron v Network Rail (QBD) [2007] 1 WLR 163. Whether the Fatal Accidents Acts complies with Article 2 and whether Network Rail is a public authority for the purpose of Human Rights Act.
R v Railtrack & Others. Prosecution arising out of the Hatfield train crash.

Morris v Network Rail (Court of Appeal) [2004] EWCA Civ 172. Liability in nuisance for interference caused by electrical equipment.

Roshdi v Thames Trains (Court of Appeal) [2002] All ER (D) 284. Grants of an adjournment on refusal of public funding.

Winch v Mid Bedfordshire District Council (QBD)[2002] All ER (D) 380. Liability of local authorities in nuisance for acts of gypsies in an official gypsy site.
Craig v Railtrack (QBD) [2002] All ER (D) 212.   Granting of indemnity costs under CPR 36.
Worrall v British Railways Board (Court of Appeal)[1999] All ER (D) 455. Application of the ex turpi causa principle.

Basildon District Council -v- Railtrack Plc (Divisional Court) The Times 27.02.98.  Requirements as to notices in health and safety prosecutions

Commercial and Product Liability

Oliver has considerable experience of product liability claims, including many large commercial contract disputes and group actions.  He acted in the Lariam and OCENSA pipeline group actions.  Oliver also acted for defendants in the litigation following the Para Red and Sudan Red product recalls (the largest food recall in UK history).

Oliver regularly advises in relation to claims under the Consumer Protection Act; property damage claims; product testing and product recall issues; cross border, jurisdiction and applicable law issues; contractual exemption clauses; and coverage and insurance issues associated with product liability claims.

He has considerable experience acting on behalf of the food and drink industries.

He is an editor of the “International Product Law Manual” and a contributor to Halsbury’s Laws of England.

Oliver has been recommended in product liability for many years by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, where he is ranked in the top band of junior barristers.
The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners have commented on his product liability expertise:

“an impressive trial advocate” (Legal 500 2014)
“he is attuned to clients legal, commercial and reputational needs” (Legal 500 2013)
“he is well regarded for his independence of thought and his performances in the line of fire” (Chambers & Partners 2012);
“he is absolutely tip-top and shows a deft touch in court that is as good as you would see anywhere at the Bar” (Chambers & Partners 2012);
“he is highly regarded for his commercial approach and ability to find the right solution for the client” (Chambers & Partners 2011);
“he is very level headed, thorough and reliable” (Legal 500 2010);
“he gets straight to the meat of the argument and isn’t one for waffling” (Chambers & Partners 2010);
“technically marvellous and someone who handles complex and sensitive cases extremely well” (Chambers & Partners 2009); and
“Oliver Campbell is more than capable of holding his own against silk in product liability” (Legal 500 2009).

Representative Cases

Poole v Simon Wright Racing Developments. [2013] EWHC 237 Claim in respect of alleged design defects in a go-kart.

OCENSA pipeline group litigation

The Sudan Red Food Litigation 

Hobson v Morton Slack Solicitors (QBD) [2006] All ER (D) 298. Procedure for applications for group litigation orders.

Vinaver v Milton Ashbury Ltd (Court of Appeal) [2006] EWCA Civ 363.
The Para Red Litigation

Trac Time Control v Moss Plastic Parts (QBD) [2005] All ER (D) 6.
The Lariam Litigation

 

Group Actions

Oliver has extensive experience of acting for both claimants and defendants in group actions and other  multi-party claims.  He regularly advises in relation to applications for Group Litigation Orders and associated issues in relation to the management of group actions.

His experience in this area includes environmental and pollution claims (for example, the OCENSA pipeline group action); pharmaceutical and medicinal product claims (for example, the Lariam group litigation); claims arising from large accidents and disasters (for example, the claims following the Stafford rail crash); and claims arising from professional negligence and mis-selling of financial products (for example, the coal miners claims).

Representative Cases

Health and  Safety and Regulatory

  • R v Sellafield and Network Rail [2014] EWCA Crim 49. Sentancing of large companies for regulatory offences.
  • Berry v Star Autos (Court of Appeal) [2011] EWCA Civ 1304.  Application of the Electricity at Work Regulations.
  • Wandsworth v Covent Garden Market Authority (QBD) [2011] EWHC 1245.  Appeals against improvement notices.
  • Collett v Middlesbrough Football Club (Court of Appeal) [2009] EWCA Civ 583
  • Corus v Cavendish UK (QBD) [2009] EWHC 2058. Liability in respect of asbestos removal work.
  • R (Main) v Minsiter for Legal Aid (Admin) (2007) 96 BMLR 61. Availability of legal aid for inquests.
  • Cameron v Network Rail (QBD) [2007] 1 WLR 163. Whether the Fatal Accidents Acts complies with Article 2 and whether Network Rail is a public authority for the purpose of Human Rights Act.
  • R v Railtrack & Others. Prosecution arising out of the Hatfield train crash.
  • Morris v Network Rail (Court of Appeal) [2004] EWCA Civ 172. Liability in nuisance for interference caused by electrical equipment.
  • Roshdi v Thames Trains (Court of Appeal) [2002] All ER (D) 284. Grants of an adjournment on refusal of public funding.
  • Winch v Mid Bedfordshire District Council (QBD)[2002] All ER (D) 380. Liability of local authorities in nuisance for acts of gypsies in an official gypsy site.
  • Craig v Railtrack (QBD) [2002] All ER (D) 212.   Granting of indemnity costs under CPR 36.
  • Worrall v British Railways Board (Court of Appeal)[1999] All ER (D) 455. Application of the ex turpi causa principle.
  • Basildon District Council -v- Railtrack Plc (Divisional Court) The Times 27.02.98.  Requirements as to notices in health and safety prosecutions.

Product Liability and Commercial

  • Poole v Simon Wright Racing Developments. [2013] EWHC 237 Claim in respect of alleged design defects in a go-kart.
  • OCENSA pipeline group litigation
  • Sudan Red Food Litigation
  • Hobson v Morton Slack Solicitors (QBD) [2006] All ER (D) 298. Procedure for applications for group litigation orders.
  • Vinaver v Milton Ashbury Ltd (Court of Appeal)[2006] EWCA Civ 363.
  • Para Red Litigation
  • Trac Time Control v Moss Plastic Parts (QBD) [2005] All ER (D) 6.
  • Lariam Litigation

Other Cases

  • McNicol v Balfour Beatty Rail Maintenance Ltd (Court of Appeal) [2002] ICR 381.
  • W v H (QBD) [2008] All ER (D) 47
  • Besong v Connex Bus (EAT) [2005] All ER (D) 261.
  • McCrossen v Dilworth (EAT)[2005] All ER (D) 125.
  • Budgen Stores v Floyd (EAT) [2002] All ER (D) 237.
  • BFI Optilas Ltd v Blyth (QBD) [2002] All ER (D) 287.
  • Asamoah-Boakye v Walter Rodney Housing Association (Court of Appeal) [2001] All ER (D) 320.
  • Connex South Central v Lamb (EAT) [2000] All ER (D) 2556.
  • Newlon Housing Trust -v- Alsulaimen and Another (House of Lords) [1998] 3 WLR 451.
More about Oliver Campbell QC

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