Christopher Saad

Year of Call: 2009  


Overview


Christopher Saad’s practice encompasses serious crime, financial crime, inquests and regulatory law.

In the past year Chris has appeared as a led junior in a large-scale mortgage fraud and money laundering trial and has appeared as a junior alone in a seven defendant conspiracy to handle stolen goods. Chris mainly defends but has appeared on behalf of the prosecution for several bodies including Transport for London and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Chris has also drafted written representations and provided advice on a privately funded basis to clients facing the prospect of a criminal prosecution or regulatory sanction.

As a particular specialism, Chris advises companies and individuals in the media industry that face either criminal or regulatory sanction.

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.

As a result, Chris has considerable experience of media regulation and regulatory process. He has applied that knowledge in advising professionals from other industries facing disciplinary proceedings.

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


In the past two years he has been instructed as a led junior on three major drug conspiracies. These cases involved complex analysis of cell-site evidence, expert evidence in relation to the attribution of Skype accounts and a cut-throat defence.

As a junior alone, Chris has represented clients charged with serious cases of fraud, grievous bodily harm with intent, drug dealing, dangerous driving, sexual assault, child cruelty, amongst other offences.

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 JF: Postman accused of interfering with mail after an extensive surveillance operation had been carried out on him. Acquitted.
  • R v PW: Client accused of harassment with intent to cause fear of violence. 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.

Most recently, Chris appeared as a led junior in a mortgage fraud and money laundering trial. The trial concerned fraudulent mortgage applications made on new build properties in around London.

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 the Royal Mail or the Crown Prosecution service. These clients were alleged to have behaved fraudulently in their role as sub-postmasters, postman or couriers.

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 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.

Cases

  • R v JB: Client was alleged to have hacked into his former employer’s twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
  • Ofcom V RE: Client prosecuted for operating a pirate radio station.

 

Professional Discipline


Chris has used his regulatory experience to advise clients facing disciplinary action from other regulatory bodies. For example, he has advised a nurse due to appear before the Nursing and Midwifery Council accused of abusive treatment towards a patient. He has also 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.

Regulatory


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.

Memberships


  • Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association