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Louise Oakley

'She is just fantastic'Chambers UK 2020

Call 2001

Practice Profile

Louise Oakley’s down to earth manner makes her an effective advocate and popular with both lay and professional clients who repeatedly instruct her.

Louise is described by instructing solicitors and counsel who have led her as “meticulous”, “extremely thorough”, “incredibly hardworking” and “highly knowledgeable”. Louise is qualified to accept instructions on a public access basis and is registered with the Bar Council’s Public Access Directory.

Louise is frequently instructed in cases involving homicide and has a wealth of experience in this area in particular, including the ground breaking 'double jeopardy' prosecution of Michael Weir in 2019 and has acted in numerous trials of murder and manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court.  

Allied to this Louise is instructed in cases involving serious violent and sexual offending. She is regularly instructed in cases involving historic allegations, abuse in children’s homes and cases involving extensive third party material. Louise has a particular proficiency with both vulnerable witnesses and defendants, including those who are mentally disordered. Her cases often involve complex medical evidence involving the trauma associated with physical and sexual violence.

Louise was admitted to the Bar of the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2014 for the specific purpose of representing a former member of the Turks and Caicos Government who is facing allegations of Bribery and Corruption. The allegations came about in the wake of Sir Robin Auld’s inquiry into possible misconduct at the highest level of government in the Islands prior to the suspension of the constitution in 2009 by the British Government.

Memberships:

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Central Criminal Court Bar Mess
  • Kent Bar Mess
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • The Female Fraud Forum

Qualifications:

  • Grade 4 Prosecutor (Specialist panels for Sexual Offences & Serious Crime)
  • Safford Scholarship, Middle Temple (2001)
  • Jamieson Scholar, Middle Temple (2001)
  • Postgraduate Dip (Bar)
  • Postgraduate Dip (Law)
  • BA Hons

News

Louise Oakley joins 5KBW

6 February 2020

Chambers are delighted to welcome Louise Oakley... Read More

Notable Cases

  • R v. Michael Weir [C.C.C.] 2019

    Groundbreaking Double Jeopardy Murder

    Louise Oakley was the led junior for the Crown led by Tom Little QC before Mrs Justice McGowan at the Central Criminal Court. The defendant was charged with two separate murders committed in 1998 of Leonard Harris and Rose Seferian. Case made legal history when Weir was convicted as he is the first person ever to be convicted of the same murder twice! 

    Weir was originally convicted in July 1999 of the murder of Leonard Harris. That conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2000 on the basis that a DNA profile on the DNA database used for comparative purposes should not have been retained.  In 2017 a match was found between Weir’s palm print at the Seferian crime scene. That in turn led to a reinvestigation of the Harris murder where it was discovered that a palm print inside the Harris’s home address matched Weir and advances in DNA meant that new DNA evidence was also found.

    Prosecution put to strict proof re continuity of palm prints found a both crime scenes involving a painstaking analysis of historical records held by the fingerprint bureau.

    BBC news report here.

  • R v. Gordon Park [C.O.A.] 2019

    Lady in the Lake murder trial

    Louise Oakley was Junior Prosecution Counsel led by Richard Whittam QC before Lady Justice Sharp, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mrs Justice May in response to the CCRC’s  Referral  of the “Lady in Lake” case which was one of the UK’s longest murder enquires.

    Carol Park went missing on 17 July 1976, and was never seen alive again by her family. In 1997, her body was discovered by divers in Coniston Water.  She was nicknamed "the Lady in the Lake” by detectives. Carol Park’s husband (Gordon Park) was convicted of her murder in 2005. He appealed against his conviction, nut it was dismissed in 2008. Just over a year later, Gordon Park killed himself on his 65th birthday in his cell at HMP Garth.

    Gordon Park’s family applied on his behalf to the CCRC and following an eight year investigation they referred the case in 2018 to the Court of Appeal on the basis that there was a real possibility the Court of Appeal will consider the conviction is unsafe. The CCRC cited the cumulative effect of a number of issues, including the non-disclosure of expert opinion undermining the prosecution’s assertion that Gordon Park’s climbing axe could be the murder weapon, new scientific evidence showing that Gordon Park was not a contributor of DNA preserved within knots of the rope used to bind his wife’s body, non-disclosure of information undermining the reliability of a prosecution witness who gave evidence of a prison confession and a renewed assertion that a rock found in the lake near Carol Park’s remains could not specifically be linked to rocks at Bluestones, the family home, should be reassessed.

    The Appeal involved the instruction of forensic scientists, forensic pathologists and forensic odontologists and a review of legal, dental and medical records going back to 1976.

    BBC news report here.