Christopher Martin joined Chambers, as a Tenant, in October 2009 following the successful completion of his 12 month pupillage.
Prior to being called to the Bar Christopher enjoyed an extremely successful and varied career as an Infantry Officer in the British Army. He retired holding the rank of Major. Christopher has top-level security clearance (Developed Vetting) which was often upgraded to STRAP level. He has undertaken significant, sensitive work on behalf of the Treasury Solicitors and other discrete government departments. More recently, he has been instructed by the CPS Counter Terrorism Unit to prosecute those charged with terrorism.
Christopher appears in the Crown Court daily conducting all manner of hearings. He is now instructed in more serious, complicated and lengthy Crown Court trials as a junior alone. Additionally, Christopher has developed a regular private practice in the Magistrates’ Court in respect of complicated road traffic matters for successful & professional individuals.
Christopher is public access qualified and has expanded considerably in the last 12 months. Christopher has accepted a number of instructions and, aside from the normal criminal court matters, he has recently represented a bereaved individual in relation to a Coroner’s Inquest; a Royal Navy Officer in relation to specialist advice for a forthcoming Service Complaint, and a Physiotherapist in relation to a Professional Standards Investigation. This is in addition to representing professional individuals at the Magistrates Court.
Christopher has been instructed to appear in the Court of Appeal (including the Court Martial Appeal Court) on several occasions and is adept at drafting the necessary advices on appeal in relation to both conviction and sentence. Additionally, Christopher has also been instructed to represent servicemen in respect of Appeals.
- R v Naish  All ER (D) 225 (Mar): The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that in the circumstances, a sentence of four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for sexual activity with a child and burglary had been excessive and a sentence of two years and nine months’ imprisonment was substituted.
Christopher is often instructed to conduct confiscation hearings in the Crown Court as both defence and prosecution council. In the main this follows from Christopher’s own trials.
As a serving Army officer, Christopher had experience of representing the Ministry of Defence at sensitive coronial inquests and was instructed by the Treasury Solicitors in respect of a high profile and sensitive inquest.
More recently, Christopher has represented, pro bono, the families of British soldiers killed whilst on operational service and has provided assistance through the Royal British Legion.
Christopher’s experience with the serious and complex crime sphere is expanding. Christopher has recently appeared for the Defence in a number of serious and complex trials which include murder, Armed Robbery trial, firearms, serious offences of breaching copyright (in respect of a ‘DVD factory’ producing tens of thousands of illicit DVDs); serious cases involving the importation of significant amounts of Class A drugs (upto £300 million) and the theft of a significant amount of motor vehicles (valued at more than £1 million).
- R v A & Another 2014 (Defence Junior alone): A two-handed armed robbery whereby the defendants were alleged to have been armed with a handgun and a knife before robbing two women of their Rolex watches worth £32,000. Mr. A was acquitted following a successful application of no case to answer at the conclusion of the Crown’s case.
- R v C 2014 (Defence Junior alone): A two week trial concerning the importation of 10kg of heroin into the UK by a Dutch lorry driver
- R v K 2014 (Defence Junior alone)
K was charged with 5 offences contrary to the Firearms Act 1968 including s.16 of that Act (possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life which carries a maximum sentencing tariff of life imprisonment). The charges were in relation to the possession of a Skorpion machine gun, live ammunition and a silencer. After significant negotiations with the Crown, and after mitigation, Mr. K was sentenced only in relation to the lesser s.5 charges and received the minimum 5 year sentence with the Judge stating that he would have passed a lessor sentence had statute not “tied his hands”.
- R v C & Others 2015 (Defence Junior led)
C was charged with two armed robberies of casinos and of a ‘honey trap’ murder of a professional gambler with his two co-defendants at the Central Criminal Court.
- R v L & Others 2015 (Defence Junior alone)
Mr. L was implicated in a Class A drug importation with a street value of more than £100M. He was the ‘right hand man’ and money launderer to the ‘Mr. Big’. After a 12 week trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Mr. L was the only one of nine defendants to be acquitted.
- R v DH & Others 2016 (Defence Junior alone)
DH was implicated in what the prosecution described as the largest industrial cannabis cultivation ever discovered in the UK. He was one of 13 defendants tried over a period of 14 weeks in Court 1 at the Old Bailey.
- R v WC 2016 (Defence Junior alone)
WC was charged with causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving in a case which had a particularly complicated issue of causation. WC was acquitted in 40 mins following a six day trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Christopher’s defence practice is wide and varied. He has an exclusive Crown Court practice with the exception of private instructions in the Magistrates Court. The details regarding the types of cases that he undertakes are, in the main, set out in the remainder of this profile.
Christopher has been instructed in relation to both defence and prosecution fraud trials – both as a junior alone and as a led junior. Christopher receives instructions direct from the CPS Specialist Fraud Unit.
- R v S & Others 2014 (Defence junior): A seven-handed conspiracy to defraud trial at Harrow Crown Court. The nature of the conspiracy related to fraudulent applications for Tier 1 Immigration Visas. After a 12- week trial, four defendants were convicted and the jury in relation to ‘S’ were hung. The Crown opted to not try ‘S’ again and he was acquitted.
- R v D & Others 2014 (Prosecution junior): A four-handed conspiracy to defraud (approx. £4M)trial at Woolwich Crown Court. The nature of the conspiracy related to a horse racing betting scam involving tipster services. Two defendants pleaded guilty at the start of the trial and at the conclusion of the 5 week trial, the remaining two were convicted.
Between 2010 and 2013, Christopher was instructed as both a barrister and an investigation team leader within a Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) for the duration of a three-year investigation. The investigation focused on serious allegations of fraud, corruption & bribery and money laundering committed by Government officials within the Turks & Caicos Islands. The scope of the alleged offending was in the range of US$100s millions. Christopher gained significant experience of compiling complicated Production Orders and working under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and Letters Of Request (LoR) processes; in particular with the US Department of Justice and the Swiss Authorities.
Christopher has been instructed in a number of major and long running Judicial Review cases arising in consequence of internment, torture and other abuse allegations in relation to detainees in Iraq.
- Ali & Others v Secretary of State for Defence: A Judicial Review action arising in consequence of the British Government’s decision not to hold a second investigation into allegations of torture and sexual abuse that were made by complainants held at Camp Bread Basket in Iraq.
- Al-Jedda v Secretary of State for Defence: An on going action arising from the British Government’s decision to arrest and detain a dual Iraqi-British national on the grounds that his internment was necessary for imperative reasons of security in Iraq. (See R (on the application of Al-Jedda) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Defence (Respondent)  UKHL 58).
- Kammash & Others v Secretary of State for Defence: A Judicial Review action as to the legality of the detention and internment of the Claimants by British Forces in Iraq.
Christopher naturally has a keen interest in military law and regularly defends in Courts Martial cases in the UK and in Germany. Christopher has experience of conducting all manner of hearings including a number of trials and appeals. In addition, Christopher has been instructed to provide advice and to draft representations in respect of a Commissioned Officer engaged in a Service Complaint procedure.
- R v Private T, 2015: Christopher represented Private T who faced Court Martial in Germany in relation to an allegation of rape. Following a successful application of no case to answer at the conclusion of the prosecution case the Board were directed to find Private T not guilty. The prosecution, however, added a further charge of attempted rape. At the conclusion of the nine-day trial the Court Martial board acquitted Private T of the attempted rape. Private T’s legal aid contributions were refunded in full.
- R v Sergeant A: This was a case which was heard by the Courts Martial Appeal Court and was in relation to a manifestly excessive sentence that had been applied for a military offence during Summary Dealing. The Appeal was successful, the sentence was overturned and a conditional discharge substituted.
- R v Private M & Others 2014: Christopher represented Pte M who was one of four soldiers on trial for joint enterprise violence at the Sennelager CMC (Germany). After a successful application of no case to answer at the conclusion of the Crown’s case, Private Mc was acquitted.
- R v Squadron Leader H 2014: Christopher represented Sqn Ldr H who was tried with a co-defendant for Class A drugs offences at the Colchester CMC. After a successful application of no case to answer at the conclusion of the Crown’s case, Sqn Ldr H was acquitted.
- R v Bombadier B & Others 2015: Bdr B was jointly charged with two co-defendants in relation to a incident of Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent (s.18 OAPA 1861) resulting from a fight in a German nightclub. The Crown discontinued the case against Bdr B after an Application to Dismiss was submitted. The two co-defendants pleaded guilty.
- R v Private T, 2015
Christopher represented Private T who faced Court Martial in Germany in relation to an allegation of rape. Following a successful application of no case to answer at the conclusion of the prosecution case the Board were directed to find Private T not guilty. The prosecution, however, added a further charge of attempted rape. At the conclusion of the nine-day trial the Court Martial board acquitted Private T of the attempted rape. Private T’s legal aid contributions were refunded in full.
Christopher is regularly instructed by the Association of Optometrists to represent its professional members who are summoned to appear before the General Optical Council & other professional bod-ies in respect of professional discipline matters. Christopher appears at hearings Nationwide and has in both London and Manchester extensive experience of conducting the following hearings:
• Interim Order Hearings;
• Fitness to Practice Substantive Hearings;
• Substantive Review Hearings; and
• NHS Performer’s List Panel Hearings.
Christopher has also recently been instructed, via Direct Access, in relation to two professional disciplinary matters. He has successfully represented a Physiotherapist in relation to a hearing conducted by the Health Care Professional Council. Christopher has also been instructed to represent a Surgeon who appeared before the General Medical Council.
Christopher is a Grade 2 CPS Prosecutor and appears regularly for both the CPS and the National Probation Service in the Crown Courts in London and Essex in respect of all manner of hearings and trials. He has also been instructed by the CPS to appear in the Court of Appeal.
Furthermore, Christopher is regularly instructed by the CPS to advise on cases pre-charge. These are serious and complicated cases.
- R v D & Others 2014 (Prosecution junior): A four-handed conspiracy to defraud trial at Woolwich Crown Court. The nature of the conspiracy related to a horse racing betting scam involving tipster services. Two defendants pleaded guilty at the start of the trial and at the conclusion of the 5 week trial, the remaining two were convicted.
- R v C, K & S 2015 (Prosecution Junior led): A three-handed case where the defendants were charged with terrorism offences and tried at the Central Criminal Court over 6 weeks.
- R v S 2016 (Prosecution Junior alone)
S was tried on his own over five days in respect of possession of a firearm tried at Basildon Crown Court (statutory minimum 5 year sentence offence).
Christopher is a keen sportsman and has defended in extra jurisdictional (USA) sports law appeals. Additionally, Christopher has represented, pro bono, an English Football League football team at a Disciplinary Hearing.
Christopher was instructed as both a barrister and an investigation team leader within a Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) for the duration of a three-year investigation. The investigation focused on serious allegations of fraud, corruption & bribery and money laundering committed by Government officials within the Turks & Caicos Islands. The scope of the alleged offending was in the range of US$100s millions. Christopher gained significant experience of compiling complicated Production Orders and working under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and Letters Of Request (LoR) processes; in particular with the US Department of Justice and the Swiss Authorities.
2016 ‘Legal 500’ Directory describes Christopher as a Leading Junior in Crime and quotes: ‘He has an excellent rapport with juries, which results in exceptional outcomes.’
- Vice Chief of Defence Staff Commendation for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Defence’ (2008)
- Winner of the Sword of Honour, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (2001)
- Anson Memorial Prize for academic achievement, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (2001)
- Harmsworth Major Scholar, Middle Temple
- Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent), BBP Law School
- LLB (Hons) Law, Upper Second Class Honours