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A sustained increase in the number of privately-funded cases being handled by a Manchester law firm has seen it boosting its team by employing a senior barrister.

Jon Oultram, who has acted as independent counsel for Freeman & Co – headed by celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman – on a frequent basis over the last few years, has joined the company as an in-house advocate.

Mr Freeman, whose clients include Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, former England cricketer Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Chelsea striker Frank Lampard, golfer Colin Montgomerie and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, said: “Jon joins us at one of the busiest periods I can ever remember in the firm’s history”.

“Whilst we are best known in the media for defending clients accused of motoring offences, we are seeing a massive volume of enquiries from people wanting expert legal advice on a wide range of criminal issues”.

“Jon has been practising law since 1988 and brings a wealth of experience to the team. He is a first class lawyer who has represented Freeman & Co on innumerable previous occasions, and, like me, he started his professional career as a prosecutor”.

Mr Oultram said: “I’ve known Nick for the best part of two decades, first on opposing sides whilst I was working for the Crown Prosecution Service, to eventually working for him on a case by case basis”.

“He is regarded as one of the top lawyers in the country with one of the sharpest legal minds of anyone I’ve ever known”.

“I’m certainly looking forward to joining Freeman & Co and working with Nick and his team at this exciting and busy time”.

Mr Oultram began his career as a senior prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service in the late 1980s, working for its Inner London, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester divisions.

A CPS barrister, Mr Oultram was responsible for the review, conduct and presentation of criminal cases, from organised crime and murder to road traffic.

He helped train police officers in London in interview techniques, presenting evidence and the giving of evidence at court. He also worked with police units, managing and advising on particular operations including vice, supply of drugs, people trafficking and organised crime.

In 1999, Jon joined a criminal set of chambers in Manchester, specialising in criminal defence work. He has represented clients accused of a wide and diverse range of offences, including road traffic, white collar crime, organised crime, drug trafficking, confiscation proceedings, and murder.