Brendan O’Leary

Call To The Bar: 2007

Recommended in Legal 500, 2024 – Crime(General and Fraud)

“Brendan is always very prepared and thorough and his client care is exceptional which is important for instructing solicitors. Brendan is an experienced barrister.” – Legal 500, 2023

Brendan O’Leary is an established and sought-after barrister who specialises in all areas of serious crime.

He is regularly instructed in serious criminal litigation, in particular homicide, organised crime, financial and regulatory crime, and sexual offending. He is instructed in cases of the utmost gravity, sensitivity, and complexity. He is renowned as a skilled jury advocate, who is particularly adept at bringing a clarity to complex cases.

Brendan specialises in multi-handed cases where he is credited with excellent tactical instincts in advancing his client’s case. Many such cases involve very large amounts of evidence and Brendan is quickly able to digest such material and identify areas which can be used to his client’s advantage.

Brendan has considerable experience in dealing with expert evidence, from cell site analysis to DNA evidence. He is adept at deploying such expert evidence to the benefit of his clients, which has resulted in successful outcomes in a large number of cases.

Brendan’s practice includes a number of high value and high profile Enchrochat cases involving multi-million pound drugs and firearms conspiracies.

Brendan’s practice also encompasses defending those charged with serious sexual offences. He has defended in high profile ‘grooming’ cases which have received coverage in national media. He is also often instructed to deal with sensitive cases where the allegations are historical in nature.

Brendan has a meticulous approach to pre-trial disclosure and analysing unused material. He is skilled at analysing large amounts of material and deploying its use to the advantage of his client.

Brendan prides himself in providing an excellent service to professional and lay clients. He is regularly instructed in cases where youths and those with significant mental health conditions have been charged with murder and other serious violent and sexual offences.

Brendan is a Category 3 CPS prosecutor

Brendan also represents clients made subject to Account Freezing Orders (AFO) and other asset and cash detention.

Brendan also specialises in representing individuals and other entities who are called before the Traffic Commissioner and the Upper Appeal Tribunal. He is instructed in cases nationwide, including in Scotland.

Notable Cases

Operation Sandpiper

Murder – Ongoing case – A multi-handed (10 defendants) allegation of murder of a 16-year-old boy. The defendants were all youths at the time of the allegation.

A high-profile case which encompasses complex issues of joint enterprise / participation.

Operation Foxton

Murder – Ongoing case – 5 defendants.

Brendan represents one of the defendants in this allegation of murder arising out of an incident at a set of traffic lights in South Manchester.

Operation Littlefinger

Conspiracy to defraud.

Ongoing case. Allegation is that the defendants conspired to defraud HMRC of more than £25 million, by the creation of false companies applying for research grants.

Operation Northolt

Conspiracy to possess firearm with intent to endanger life.

Instructed to represent the defendant alleged to have discharged a firearm into an occupied property.

Multi-handed case involving complex cell site, phone, DNA and cctv analysis. Defence consisted in demonstrating the strands of evidence relied upon by prosecution were not consistent with their case. Detailed analysis of unused material proved the contentions made by prosecution were not supported by wider material. Client acquitted.

Operation Rudge

Conspiracy to produce cannabis, conspiracy to facilitate travel for exploitation, conspiracy to perform forced labour.

A three-week trial where Brendan was instructed to represent the alleged regional head of an OCG accused of organising the trafficking of individuals to perform forced labour in cannabis farms. The value of the dugs was in excess of one million pounds.

Detailed analysis of phone records, cell site and ANPR evidence demonstrated the evidence relied upon by the prosecution was not reliable or consistent with the prosecution case theory. Client acquitted by the jury.

Operation Geladi

Conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.

One of the first wave of ‘Enchrochat’ Operation Venetic cases. Represented a defendant said to be a leading member of Salford based OCG involved in the violent targeted robbery of over 1 million pounds worth of cocaine from a stash house belonging to a Liverpool based OCG.

Operation Wimbledon

Multi handed conspiracy to import cannabis, supply cocaine and produce amphetamine.

Multi-million-pound drugs conspiracy. Detailed pretrial analysis of evidence and unused material resulted in successful representations being made on behalf of the client culminating in the class A charges and importation charges being dropped by the prosecution.

Operation Barva

Large scale conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

The case involved 15 defendants. The evidence was voluminous and involved meticulously analysing documents from the UK and overseas in order to properly advance the case on behalf of the defendant.