Jane is currently rated in the Legal 500 as a Tier 1 leading junior on the South-Eastern Circuit in Crime, who is … hardworking, committed and determined. In the 2015 edition of Legal 500, she was described as … bright and hardworking, with exceptional judgement.
She is a persuasive advocate and an adept technical lawyer with the organisational and communication skills necessary for varied and complicated cases. Her commitment to detailed case analysis, combined with her intellect and friendly manner, have enabled her to build a successful and diverse practice as a criminal and regulatory barrister. She is expert at witness handling, both in examination-in-chief and cross-examination, and has a style which adapts easily to the various different forums in which she appears.
Jane Oldfield has built a strong all-round criminal practice. As well as accepting instructions from a number of highly respected defence firms, Jane is a Grade 3 CPS prosecutor and has also prosecuted on behalf of various public and private bodies, including the RSPCA, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and local authorities. Her practice embraces the entire range of criminal conduct. She is an extremely experienced jury advocate, and has appeared before the appellate courts on numerous occasions.
As a prosecutor, Jane is fair but robust, and works well as part of a team. As a defender she is tenacious and committed, and takes very seriously the trust reposed in her by her clients.
Jane is regularly instructed for both the prosecution and the defence in cases of serious sexual offences, involving both adults and children. She is on the CPS Rape Panel, and her wide experience encompasses offences of rape, sexual assaults, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, brothel-keeping, grooming and indecent images, amongst others.
Jane has regularly mounted and defended arguments relating to s.41 cross-examination about a complainant’s sexual history, abuse of process based on delay, hearsay and bad character.
She is an approachable advocate who possesses excellent judgment. She is committed to providing first class client care and is particularly strong in working with vulnerable witnesses.
From privately-instructed magistrates’ court trials for battery to the most serious offences of s.18 grievous bodily harm and attempted murder, violent crime remains a staple of Jane’s practice. She has also developed a specialism in prosecuting incidents of large-scale public disorder.
With experience ranging from successfully applying to read the complainant’s statement as hearsay in a prosecution for domestic violence, to persuading a reluctant judge not to send her university student client to prison, Jane is adept at all aspects of advocacy in every kind of violent crime.
Over the years, Jane has been instructed in a number of cases involving large-scale drugs supply and importation, people smuggling and sham marriages, both on her own and as a led junior. Through prosecuting such cases, she has become familiar with dealing with sensitive disclosure and the difficulties that can arise with such material. Jane has also developed strong tactical skills whilst defending in cases which involve sensitive material.
Jane has considerable experience in prosecuting and defending fraud and other dishonesty cases of all kinds, from large-scale identity fraud to offences contrary to the Insolvency Act. She is currently instructed by the Serious Fraud Office. Jane is highly skilled in the essential elements of a fraud practice – she is able to marshal large amounts of evidence, distil it into a workable and comprehensible form and home in on the key issues. Her eye for detail and meticulous preparation have brought her considerable success in prosecuting and defending serious fraud and corporate crime.
Jane has built up considerable experience in complicated confiscation proceedings and is well-versed in the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), the Drug Trafficking Act (DTA) and Criminal Justice Act (CJA) confiscation regimes as well as the restraint legislative framework. She has advised on the impact of property freezing orders, restraint orders, management receivership orders and confiscation orders upon the recovery of debt by a local authority. She has drafted s.17 POCA defendant’s responses and has also represented clients in contested cash forfeiture proceedings.
Jane has lectured extensively on confiscation and restraint, most recently at Lambeth Council. She has a wide knowledge base and considerable hands-on experience of proceeds of crime work.
Jane has a strong practice defending in private road traffic cases of all kinds. She gives fair, realistic advice on the law and prospects of success. She has a wide knowledge of road traffic case law and the myriad of defences available.
Jane understands the paramount importance of road traffic cases for those whose livelihood depends on their own and their employees’ driving records, as well as the implications that a conviction can have on licensing and standing with the Traffic Commissioners.
Jane also prosecutes in serious road traffic offences resulting in death.
A large part of Jane’s practice is dedicated to regulatory work, in healthcare regulation and in criminal regulatory cases. She has an impressive ability to master even the most technical of concepts, which has stood her in excellent stead when presenting allegations of clinical misconduct against a doctor, understanding clinical allegations made against her registrant clients, cross-examining experts of all specialisms, and, in one instance, constructing an argument on causation based upon the structure of heavy machinery.
Jane has acted for Ipswich Borough Council in obtaining civil closure orders under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 at the Magistrates’ Court. Given the emergency nature of these applications, she is briefed not more than 48 hours before each hearing. Jane has also appeared in quasi-criminal applications in the magistrates’ and Crown Court, such as applications for Football Banning Orders and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, which incorporate both civil and criminal rules of evidence.
In 2013 Jane completed a nine-month secondment at the General Medical Council as an in-house Legal Advisor with a caseload of close to 30 active investigations. Having demonstrated her ability to handle complex cases and provide sound advice, she now receives regular instructions from the GMC to appear before the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service (MPTS). She also acts for the Health and Care Professions Council.
Jane also defends in regulatory proceedings. In particular, she regularly represents registrant nurses before the Committees (now one Committee) of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and has appeared to defend before the Health and Care Professions Council and the General Osteopathic Council.
Jane has appeared in extradition cases both at first instance and before the High Court on appeal, and has experience of the complex legal arguments and thorny factual issues which can arise.
Jane has been described as:
2:1 BA (Hons) Modern Languages, Oxford University
Commendation GDL (CPE) : City University
Very Competent : BVC : City University
South Eastern Circuit
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association (HSLA)
Criminal Bar Association
2015 CPS Rape Panel Advocate
2013 SFO Counsel Panel List
2013 General Medical Council (GMC) List of Counsel
2012 Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR) & Environment Agency Regulatory List C
2012 CPS Panel Advocate (Grade 3)
Public Access Barrister