Oliver Hirsch

Oliver Hirsch

Year of Call: 2020
Email Address: [email protected]
CJSM: [email protected]
Telephone: 01962 868 884

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Clerk Details

  • Clerk Name: Stuart Pringle
  • Clerk Telephone: 07962 868 884
  • Clerk Email: [email protected]


Oliver Hirsch is a criminal barrister based at 3PB’s Winchester office. He conducts work for both defence and prosecution.

As defence counsel, Oliver has secured acquittals in a range of cases, including the supply of Class A drugs and assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH). He has been instructed as junior counsel in cases involving historic child sex offences and county lines drug trafficking; and has appeared in the Court of Appeal, where his client’s sentence was reduced by 18 months.

Oliver has been appointed to Level 2 of the CPS General Crime Advocate Panel. Previous cases have included the successful prosecution of an attempted robbery.

Oliver's caseload extends beyond general crime to encompass regulatory matters. He was recently involved in the successful defence of an e-bike retailer from prosecution by the DVSA.

Oliver is the editor of 3PB’s criminal law newsletter.


  • Crime
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    Oliver Hirsch is a barrister, based at 3PB’s Winchester office, who accepts instructions in both defence and prosecution work, appearing in the magistrates’, youth and Crown Courts.

    Criminal Defence

    R v A: junior defence counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

    R v M: represented defendant in the Court of Appeal, having his sentence reduced by one third.

    R v K: ABH, client acquitted of allegation that he assaulted his neighbour. He had argued self-defence.

    R v S: possession of Class A with intent to supply - client acquitted after trial by jury.

    R v E: acted as junior counsel in a multi-week trial of historic child sexual abuse allegations.

    R v L: defended client at his sentencing for a knifepoint attempted robbery; highly unusually, a suspended sentence was passed.

    R v B: Successfully argued that the defendant would suffer 'exceptional hardship' if her driving licence was not restored.

    R v W: Mitigating for his client in a court martial sentencing for going absent without leave, Oliver persuaded the court to grant (unusually) a community service order.

    R v T: client acquitted at trial; self-defence to a charge of assaulting an emergency worker.

    R v C: possession of a bladed article; starting point of 18 months in custody reduced to a 6-month suspended sentence.

    Criminal Prosecution

    R v P: secured conviction for street robbery after trial by jury.

    R v B: custodial sentence for a racially aggravated public order offence upheld on appeal.

    R v P: conviction for driving in charge of a vehicle while unfit.

    R v M: conviction in drink-driving case involving expert evidence.

    Proceeds of Crime

    R v A: Oliver persuaded the prosecution to settle, after making a novel argument that the defendant’s current account balance was in fact held on trust for his bank. The client paid £16,000 less than the prosecution had been pursuing.

    R v C: Oliver negotiated the amount sought by the prosecution down from £15,000 to £3,500.


    Oliver acts in all areas of regulatory law. His most recent experience includes taxi licence appeals and a private prosecution under the electric pedal cycle regulations.


  • Articles
    • When are police officers entitled to use force?

      Oliver Hirsch examines when defendants' claims of unlawful use of force by police officers can be substantiated, with due regard to the powers available to police officers in s.117 PACE 1984, and the rights to use reasonable force available to all citizens.

      View Article
    • Abuse of process in modern slavery

      Oliver Hirsch analyses the case of R v AFU [2023] EWCA Crim 23, a case in which the Court of Appeal reviews the authorities on abuse of process applications in trafficking and modern slavery cases.

      The Court confirms that the police must take proactive steps to investigate a suspect’s trafficking or slavery status, and in particular consider making an NRM referral.

      View Article
    • Excalibur & Keswick Groundworks Ltd v McDonald

      Oliver Hirsch considers the case of Excalibur & Keswick Groundworks Ltd v McDonald [2023] EWCA Civ 18, in which the Court of Appeal has confirmed the difficulty of removing QOCS protection from a claimant who discontinues at the last moment. This follows previous decisions in the same spirit, such as Mabb v English [2017] EWHC 3616 (QB).

      View Article
    • 12-month sentencing powers for magistrates reversed – but why?

      3PB's criminal law and personal injury barrister Oliver Hirsch discusses the reversal of the 12-month sentencing powers given to magistrates last year.

      View Article
    • Does an employer who fails to make reasonable adjustments to its dismissal procedure act unreasonably for the purposes of unfair dismissal?

      Oliver Hirsch analyses Knightly v Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2022] EAT 63, a case in which practitioners are reminded to be careful about drawing links between a claimant's unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.

      View Article
  • Recommendations

    “Totally on top of his brief, good manner with witnesses and jury, careful and not even vaguely prolix... a not guilty verdict against a lot of evidence, in part because he focused on just the right narrow issue.” - Circuit Judge

    “I was struck by his presence. He spoke well and confidently.” - Circuit Judge

    “Your expertise has not only led us to this successful result but has also provided a sense of support and confidence during the times when the situation seemed most daunting. Your ability to navigate through the complexities of this case has been nothing short of remarkable.” - Client

    Client: “Thank you for the fantastic job you did of standing up for me in court. I had never been in that situation or setting before and I’m sure it was obvious to you and everyone else that I was very nervous. I found you to be professional and I thought you brought the points of my case across very well, which I’m sure is what led to a great result.” - Client