Christopher Saad’s practice encompasses white-collar crime, serious crime and regulatory law. He is listed as a leading junior barrister in the Legal 500 in both the Crime and Fraud disciplines. Recent testimonials quoted in the directory have described Christopher as, “Very bright and able” and “extremely hardworking…shows real insight and strategic awareness”.
Christopher is regularly instructed in cases of a complex and high profile nature. For example, in the past year he has been instructed as junior counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, appeared as a led junior for the Crown in the prosecution of an unlawful act manslaughter (in which the defendants were convicted), appeared as a led junior for the first defendant in an alleged carbon credits “boiler room” fraud (in which the defendants were acquitted) and represented and/or advised clients in relation to proceedings brought by the following regulators: General Medical Council, General Optical Council, the Health and Care Professions Council, The UK Council for Psychotherapy, the National Counselling Service and the English Football League. For more information regarding the disciplinary work Christopher has done, please refer to the professional discipline page of his profile.
Other recent highlights of Christopher’s practice have included:
- Junior alone in a conspiracy to supply drugs, which included the importation of half a tonne of cannabis;
- Junior alone in a misconduct in public office case in which a prison nurse smuggled contraband into prison;
- Representing several high net worth individuals, including a television & radio personalities and a member of The Sunday Times Rich list in relation to Road Traffic Offences;
- Representing a company and its directors in relation to health and safety offences;
- Providing pre-publication advice on whether an article may attract criminal liability.
- led Junior in a multi-million pound boiler room fraud case, in which investors were sold “Rare Earth Metals”;
- led Junior in a multi-million pound conspiracy to defraud trial brought by the e-crime team at National Trading Standards;
- 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 also 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.
- The David Karmel Award, Gray’s Inn
- The Prince of Wales Scholarship, Gray’s Inn
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.
- Re LN: Chris represented a fencing company that had seconded staff to a large construction company. A fatality occurred during a motorway repair operation.
Chris is regularly instructed in cases of size and complexity both as a led Junior or as a Junior alone.
He has been listed as a leading junior criminal barrister in this year’s Legal 500, and is described as “extremely hardworking…shows real insight and strategic awareness”.
Recent examples of his work have been appearing as a led junior for the Crown in the prosecution of an unlawful act manslaughter (in which the defendants were convicted) and appearing as a led junior for the first defendant in an alleged carbon credits “boiler room” fraud (in which the defendants were acquitted).
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.
- 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.
Chris acts for clients charged with large-scale conspiracies to defraud and money laundering. He has been listed as a leading junior barrister in this field in both the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Legal 500, in which he is described as, “very bright and able”.
In the past two years, he has been involved in three large and complex conspiracy to defraud trials, concerning cybercrime and commodities fraud (rare earth metals and carbon credits).
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.
- R v RS: led by Simon Baker. Conspiracy to defraud. Alleged ‘boiler room” fraud in which investors were sold Carbon credits. Chris represented a Director of the brokerage company;
- 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”. Chris represented the Director of the company’s Zurich office;
- R v PB: Client accused of stealing almost £100,000 from a close relative after being appointed Power of Attorney;
- 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.
Chris has used his regulatory experience from his time at OFCOM to amass a considerable practice in professional discipline. He has advised and/or represented clients in relation to the following regulators: General Medical Council, General Optical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Health and Care Professions Council, The UK Council for Psychotherapy, the National Counselling Service, OFCOM and the English Football League.
Chris has considerable experience of substantive hearings (in particular where clinical expert evidence is contested), interim order hearings and has advised on the submission of written representations at the pre-charge stages.
- English Football League v XX: led by Jim Sturman QC, advice given to a football club in relation to alleged breaches of EFL regulations;
- General Optical Council v CJ: Optometrist alleged to have missed a retinal detachment in the course of a routine examination. The Committee acquitted CJ on all of the contested charges;
- General Optical Council v SM: Optometrist who was found to have fallen either below or far below the standard in several respects including poor hygiene and record keeping. The Committee found that the registrant was not currently impaired;
- Health and Care Professions Council v CD: Psychologist that maintained a friendship with a service user after the therapeutic relationship had ended and thus alleged to have failed to maintain appropriate boundaries;
- The UK Council for Psychotherapy v ZZ: Psychotherapist alleged to have adopted inappropriate boundaries with a patient;
- National Counselling Service v YY: School Counsellor alleged to have failed in her duty of care after a pupil had spoken about suicide with her and did not report that to the school;
- General Optical Council v FM: Optometrist alleged to have amended 49 patient records retrospectively. In its statement of facts the GOC applied to suspend FM. The Committee found that no such order was necessary;
- General Optical Council 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 restriction;
- General Dental Council 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;
- OFCOM v CHSTV: Represented a channel accused of breaching the Broadcasting Code by airing political programming during the election period. OFCOM took no further action upon receipt of written representations drafted by Chris;
- OFCOM v RE: Client prosecuted for operating a pirate radio station.
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.
- 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.
“He is extremely hardworking and shows real insight and strategic awareness” Legal 500 2018 (Crime)
“He is very good in cross-examining difficult witnesses effectively but sympathetically” Legal 500 2018 (Fraud)
“Very bright and able.” Legal 500 2017 (Fraud)
- Criminal Bar Association
- Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association