Oliver Woolhouse

Head of Criminal Team

Called 1996

Member of Criminal Bar Association



  • General Crime
  • Prison Law

Oliver has a varied and extensive defence practice, predominantly centred around court centres in the West Midlands. He is also a Grade III prosecutor.

He has been instructed as both sole and led defence Counsel in cases including murder, attempted murder, serious and historic sexual abuse, group violence, drug importation and large scale conspiracies to rob and burgle.

He has particular skill and experience in dealing with vulnerable defendants, such as those with mental health issues, and witnesses in the most sensitive cases.

He has also dealt with a significant number of cases involving expert evidence, including cell site analysis, DNA, facial mapping, forensic pathology, road accident reconstruction and fire damage.

With a caseload varying in complexity and gravity, he has established a reputation for detailed preparation, being approachable, determined and persuasive, and committed to providing the best possible service to both professional and lay clients.

He has enjoyed considerable success in the Court of Appeal, reducing sentences imposed upon clients both after trial and plea.

Oliver accepts both private and publicly funded work.

Notable Cases:

R v Hamilton – wounding with intent outside Wolverhampton pub alleged against single mother. Defendant acquitted.

R v W – mitigated on behalf of young defendant who had raped his younger sister and cousin.

R v B and others – young defendant accused of robbery of householders after a disputed drugs deal. Defendant acquitted.

R v Leedham and others – high profile and widely reported case involving former prison inmate conspiring to supply drugs into prison through a female prison officer with whom he had an intimate relationship.

R v Aplin and another – arson by setting fire to a vehicle outside ex-partner’s home. Defendant acquitted.

R v Woodward – wounding with intent involving the defendant biting off the end of the complainant’s finger in a pub argument. Defendant acquitted.

R v Ferguson/R v Scanlon – Operations Summergate 1 and 2, large scale conspiracies to rob convenience stores by armed gangs through the Midlands.

R v Walker and others – Operation alleging large scale conspiracy to burgle and steal high value motor vehicles. Case involved analysis of a large volume of mobile phone and cell site data. Defendant acquitted.

R v A – Allegation of Rape by a young defendant upon his half-sister. Defendant acquitted.