John Femi-Ola QC

1985 (2017)

John is a highly regarded criminal silk with a practice centred but not exclusively at the central criminal court, where he is routinely against senior treasury counsel and other leading silks.

Throughout his career, John has been instructed in factually complex, intellectually demanding and unusual cases.

Over the past 5 years, he has been instructed as Queens Counsel in over 30 murder related allegations in London and other parts of the country.

These cases are amongst the most serious and high profile including allegations of double murder such as R v Cohen (Bagel shop heir); R v C (baby shaking) and fatal shootings. Several of these cases are multi-handed.

John has also been instructed in cases alleging terrorism (he represented Sudesh Annan in an earlier matter before he was subsequently shot dead by the police in Streatham).

John's practice is diverse and broadly based with a wealth of experience in all areas of criminal law; other instructions have included large scale fraud and international money laundering such as the case of Neil More, which involved an investigation by the FBI into financial attacks on UK banks and the US Federal bank with over £1.8m stolen.

He also has extensive experience in acting in very serious drugs allegations such as in the case of S, who was alleged to be part of an international cartel masterminding substantial importations of cocaine from Latin America via South Africa into the UK. Of the five men who stood trial, he was the only one acquitted by the Jury.

John acts in sex and historical sex cases with multiple complainants. He recently represented H, a multi-millionaire businessman accused of such offences. Another high prolife case concerned allegations of serious sex assaults carried out by a religious elder. He was subsequently acquitted at trial.

John also receives instructions to represent medical professionals; lawyers; pharmacists; and sporting professionals.

Late last year, John represented a defendant in a case alleging ritual/religious circumcision of a male child. This was the first prosecution of its kind in this country. The defendant was acquitted on the main allegation.

As a junior barrister, John worked on a national newspaper as a night libel lawyer. He was also a visiting lecturer and tutor on the graduate diploma course for non-law graduates wishing to enter the law profession. He is devoted to encouraging greater entry to the Bar from black people and others from minority backgrounds.

John previously served on the Gray's Inn Barrister's Committee; he is a member of the Criminal Bar Association and the South Eastern Circuit.

He is accredited by the Bar Council to provide Public Access Services.

Recent Notable Cases:

R v P & Others - Secured the acquittal of a Bouncer accused of manslaughter by gross negligence following a four week trial at the Central Criminal Court.

R v B & Others - representing a defendant charged with the murder of a teenager following a gangland dispute. Following a trial at Kingston Crown Court which lasted over a month, the defendant was acquitted. 

R v CY. Representing a defendant charged with a stranger rape at Woolwich Crown Court. After a trial that occupied the court for two weeks the defendant was acquitted following a section 41 application. Applications under section 41 are difficult and rarely successful.

R -v- S & others. Representing a University Officer charged with others of conspiracy involving the importation of 19 kilos of cocaine. Maidstone Crown Court.

R -v- A & others. A substantial conspiracy to defraud involving an international dating company. A number of complainants gave 'live' evidence at the trial from the United States via video link. Snaresbrook Crown Court.

R-v- A & others. Allegations of 'honour' kidnapping (teenage lovers); false imprisonment; violence and perverting the course of justice. Six defendants and instructed to represent the first defendant on the indictment. Croydon Crown Court.

R-v- H & others. Large scale wine fraud. Allegation of conspiracy to defraud over a number of years involving millions of pounds. Defendant was one of the directors of the wine company. St Albans Crown Court.

R -v- A & others . Indictment included allegations of murder, conspiracy to transfer firearms and possession of firearms with intent to enable others to endanger life. The case included an allegation that a co-defendant was executed in order to prevent his participation in the trial (the murder count). Central Criminal Court.

R -v- B - Secured acquittal for doctor accused of rape and other serious sexual assaults upon another doctor following a Christmas party. Wood Green Crown Court.

R -v- G - Pastor accused of number of rapes - Acquitted - Croydon Crown Court.

R -v- Apinoko - Conspiracy to defraud financial institutions over a number of years. First on indictment. Acquitted after 8 week trial - St Albans Crown Court.

R -v- N - Murder and attempted murder of 15 others in an arson attack.

R -v- Wabara - 7 Defendants. Gangland murder and attempted murder. Central Criminal Court.

R -v- Adusei - 9 Defendants. Conspiracy to cause GBH with intent, related to a murder. Central Criminal Court. 

R -v- Joseph - 2 Defendants. Attempted murder. Central Criminal Court.

R -v- Kabalika - 2 Defendants. Murder. Central Criminal Court.

R -v- Georgiev - Allegation of a campaign of rape against women over the course of a year, four complainants. Snaresbrook Crown Court.

R -v- Ewa - Human trafficking; women from Eastern Europe for the purpose of prostitution, controlling prostitutes and running brothels. Southwark Crown Court.

R -v- Wong - 7 Defendants. Trafficking of women from the far east for purpose of prostitution all over the UK. Plymouth Crown Court. 

R -v- Lee - 6 Defendants. Armed Robbery and endangering the lives of police officers. Maidstone Crown Court.

R -v- Olaniyi - 2 Defendants. Large scale conspiracy to defraud banks and financial institutions. Woolwich Crown Court. 

R -v- Ahmed - 12 Defendants. Conspiracy to cause GBH with intent, linked to a murder. Wood Green Crown Court.

R -v- O'Sullivan - Allegation of sexual abuse of a four year old child by her uncle. Isleworth Crown Court.

R -v- Anderson - 7 Defendants. Conspiracy to defraud several banks. Client sole defendant to fight the case. Croydon Crown Court.

R -v- Aikulola - Fraud - Basildon Crown Court












Queen's Counsel 2017

Memberships & Associations

Gray's Inn
Criminal Bar Association
Criminal Bar Association Executive Committee (2021)

Areas of work

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John Femi-Ola QC

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