Christopher Saad

Year of Call: 2009  


Overview


Christopher Saad’s practice encompasses white-collar crime, serious crime and regulatory law.

In the past year alone Christopher has:

  • Appeared as a led Junior in a multi-million pound conspiracy to defraud trial brought by the e-crime team at National Trading Standards;
  • Appeared as a led Junior in a multi-million pound boiler room fraud case, in which investors were sold “Rare Earth Metals”;
  • Appeared as a junior alone in a conspiracy to supply drugs, in which it is alleged almost half a tonne of cannabis was imported into the country;
  • Represented an optometrist before the General Optical Council, a case in which the optometrist was alleged to have retrospectively amended records after receiving a customer complaint;
  • Represented several high net worth individuals, including a television & radio personality and a member of The Sunday Times Richlist in relation to Road Traffic Offences;
  • Represented a company and its directors in relation to health and safety offences;
  • Provided pre-publication advice on whether an article may attract criminal liability.

Other notable cases include:

  • Led Junior in a case of mortgage fraud and cheating the revenue;
  • Led Junior in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs case, likened to the television series “Breaking Bad”;
  • Led Junior in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs case in which tens of kilos of cocaine were imported into the country having been hidden in airplanes flown from Mexico;
  • Numerous other cases in which Chris has appeared as a junior alone including: wounding with intent, kidnap, blackmail, fraud by abuse of position, perverting the course of justice, malicious communications, offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the Data Protection 1998.

In recent years Christopher has been instructed to advise:

  • The Global Financial Crime division of an international bank on money laundering regulation and guidance provided by the Financial Conduct Authority;
  • Media companies in relation to Ofcom investigations;
  • A media company on the merits of a regulatory complaint concerning the supply of English Premier League television rights to foreign broadcasters;
  • A television channel in relation to the prohibition on political advertising and compliance with its licence obligations as to what constitutes “effective control” of a licensed service.

Before coming to the Bar, Chris worked as an Associate at the Office of Communications (Ofcom). He specialised in issues of unfair treatment and privacy in radio and television as well as leading several cases in which sanctions were imposed on broadcasters.

Awards

  • The David Karmel Award, Gray’s Inn
  • The Prince of Wales Scholarship, Gray’s Inn

Coroners Inquests


Chris acts for interested persons at coroners inquests.  This experience includes representing interested persons before a jury.

Chris’s experience has a focus on accidents that occurred during the course of employment.

As a result, Chris has gained in-depth knowledge of the health and safety requirements of employers, particularly in the construction industry.

Cases

  • Re LN: Chris represented a fencing company that had seconded staff to a large construction company. A fatality occurred during a motorway repair operation.

 

Crime


 

Chris is regularly instructed in cases of size and complexity both as a led Junior or as a Junior alone. Recent experience is set out in the “overview” page of this profile.

Chris is also direct access qualified and will accept instructions on this basis if appropriate.

In the magistrates’ court Chris specialises in representing clients charged with Road Traffic offences such as careless driving, speeding, drink driving and failing to provide a specimen. He has also represented clients on several occasions in advancing special reasons and exceptional hardship arguments.

Cases

  • R v PK: Led by Dean Armstrong QC. Client accused of conspiring to produce MDMA along with a biochemist in a case referred to as a real life “Breaking Bad”.
  • R v RS: Led by Kevin Toomey. Client alleged to be the head of a large scale drugs operation which was said to have involved in excess of twenty kilograms of cocaine imported from Mexico.
  • R v TL: Led by Kevin Toomey. Client alleged to have been the head of a large scale organised crime group.
  • R v VD: Seven handed conspiracy to handle stolen goods. Conspiracy said to have stolen several high value cars and dismantled them in a “slaughter house”. Client was found by police at the warehouse. Acquitted.
  • R v RN: Charged with grievous bodily harm with intent. Said to have lured a victim into a back street and thereafter attacked him after a drug deal had gone wrong. Acquitted.
  • R v EA: Father accused of inflicting actual bodily harm on his son. Acquitted.
  • R v KM: Client accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm in a case of “road rage”. Acquitted.
  • R v MB: Client accused of being concerned in the supply of Class A and Class B drugs. Acquitted.

Fraud


Chris acts for clients charged with fraud, money laundering, benefit fraud, theft from employer amongst other financial crimes.

In the past year, he has been involved in two large and complex conspiracy to defraud trials, concerning cybercrime and commodities fraud respectively.

Chris has considerable experience in advising on money laundering matters having been instructed to advise the Global Financial Crime division of an international bank on money laundering risk and compliance.

Chris has also represented clients on a privately funded basis who have been prosecuted by various prosecuting authorities including the Crown Prosecution service, National Trading Standards, The Royal Mail and several local authorities.

Chris has been instructed as Independent Counsel to the Serious Fraud Office in matters of Legal Professional Privilege and a Disclosure Officer for the Financial Conduct Authority.

Cases

  • R v CF: led by Andrew McGee. Conspiracy to defraud prosecuted by National Trading Standards. Trademark infringement and Consumer Protection offences also on original indictment.
    • R v WB: led by Kevin Toomey. Conspiracy to defraud. Boiler room fraud in which investors were sold “Rare Earth Metals”.
  • R v JM: Led by Craig Rush. Client alleged to have submitted fraudulent mortgage applications and laundered over £1 million thereafter.
  • R v GT: Client was a courier alleged to have made fraudulent claims for work that had not been carried out.
  • R v DA: Sub-postmaster accused of defrauding the Royal Mail by falsely claiming items of value had been lost in the post. The case involved detailed analysis of the special delivery “track and trace” procedure as well as ebay and madbid.com.
  • R v DB: individual accused of making a fraudulent claim under the “right to buy” scheme.
  • R v AK: money laundering case which involved an elaborate scheme of intercepting bank cheques, falsifying them and cashing them into various bank accounts.

Media


Due to Chris’s unique experience in media regulation he has also built a practice in media and information crime.

Chris has been instructed in cases involving copyright infringement, malicious communications, “trolling”, data protection offences, computer misuse act offences and pirate radio.

He has also provided advice in the following circumstances:

  • When an individual wished to publish an article but was concerned that such publication may give rise to criminal prosecution;
  • A television channel requiring advice on breaches of the broadcasting code;
  • A media company wishing to broadcast English Premier League matches from non-UK channels.

Cases:

  • R v JB: Client was alleged to have hacked into his former employer’s twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
  • R v CF: Client alleged to have infringed the DVLA trademark whilst working in a “copycat website” business.
  • OFCOM v RE: Client prosecuted for operating a pirate radio station.
  • RE JF: Advised an individual as to whether publication of an article may lead to criminal prosecution.
  • OFCOM v CHSTV: Represented a channel accused of breaching the Broadcasting Code by airing political programming during the election period.

Professional Discipline


Chris has used his regulatory experience from his time at OFCOM to advise clients facing disciplinary action from this and other regulatory bodies.

He has represented a television channel faced with an OFCOM investigation, and has represented healthcare professionals before the General Dental Council and the General Optical Council.

Cases:

  • GOC v AB: Represented an optometrist who appeared before an Interim Orders Committee of the General Optical Council. The client was accused of retrospectively amending records after receiving a customer complaint. The Council applied for Chris’s client to be suspended. The Committee found that Chris’s client could continue to practise without conditions.
  • GDC v SD: Represented a dentist who appeared before an Interim Orders Committee of the General Dental Council. It was the second time Chris’s client had faced disciplinary action and the Council recommended that the dentist should be suspended from practice. Chris persuaded the Committee that suspension was not necessary and the Committee allowed Chris’s client to continue in practice with conditional registration.
  • GOC v CT: To be heard in November 2017.
  • OFCOM v CHSTV: Represented a channel accused of breaching the Broadcasting Code by airing political programming during the election period.

 

Regulatory


Chris arrived at the Bar from a regulatory background having worked as an Associate at the Office of Communications, specialising in broadcast regulation. At the bar Chris has gained experience in regulatory offences in the following fields:

  • Financial crime;
  • Broadcast regulation;
  • Consumer Protection offences;
  • Health and Safety;
  • Travel regulations;
  • Food Safety.

Chris has advised the Global Financial Crime division of an international bank on money laundering regulation and guidance provided by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Chris has also advised media companies in relation to Ofcom investigations.

Chris advised a media company on the merits of a regulatory complaint concerning the supply of English Premier League television rights to foreign broadcasters.

He has advised a television channel in relation to the prohibition on political advertising and compliance with its licence obligations as to what constitutes “effective control” of a licensed service.

Whilst at Ofcom, Chris led several sanction cases, one of which included the revocation of a broadcaster’s licence on a “fit and proper” basis, the first such revocation in broadcasting history, thereby gaining in-depth experience of licensing law.

Chris has also been instructed by Ofcom to adjudicate upon fairness and privacy cases relating to some of the country’s major broadcasters.

Cases

  • R v CF: Trading standards prosecution including offences under the consumer protection regulations.
  • HSE v DK & Ors: prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive after an injury occurred at a workplace.
  • Westminster Council v DK Ltd: prosecution brought against a company for food safety breaches.

Memberships


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association