Christopher Saad

Year of Call: 2009  


Overview


Christopher Saad’s practice encompasses Crime and Fraud, Regulatory law, Inquiries and Inquests.

He is listed as a leading junior barrister in the Legal 500. Recent testimonials in the directory describe him as, “very bright and able”, “extremely hardworking…shows real insight and strategic awareness” and “personable and well-liked by his clients”.

Crime and Fraud:

Christopher is consistently instructed in cases of a complex and high profile nature as both a led junior and a junior alone. These cases have included:

• Murder;
• Unlawful act manslaughter;
• Multi-million pound fraud conspiracies;
• Sexual Offences; and
• large-scale drug Conspiracies.

He also has extensive experience of representing clients charged with Road Traffic Offences, and has represented many high-net-worth individuals and media personalities in such cases.

Regulatory:

Christopher’s regulatory practice includes healthcare, sports and media.

He is also a member of the Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law Panel (Panel C).

Healthcare:

Christopher has represented and/or advised clients in relation to proceedings brought by the following healthcare regulators:

• General Optical Council;
• General Dental Council;
• General Medical Council;
• General Pharmaceutical Council;
• Nursing and Midwifery Council;
• the Health and Care Professions Council;
• The UK Council for Psychotherapy;
• British Psychoanalytic Council.

Sports:

Christopher chairs the Safeguarding and Protection Committee at the Lawn Tennis Association and is a member of the Disciplinary and Grievance Panel at British Rowing. In addition to his sitting experience, Christopher has also advised in relation to alleged breaches of the English Football League Regulations.

Media:

Before coming to the Bar, Christopher 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. At the Bar, Christopher has advised 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 and 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.

Inquiries and Inquests:

Christopher is currently instructed (April 2018 to present) as junior counsel in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which was established to examine how the country’s institutions responded to their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.

Christopher was first junior Counsel in the Archdiocese of Birmingham Case Study and second junior Counsel in the Wider Hearing in the Roman Catholic Church Investigation.

Christopher also represents individuals and companies at Coroners’ Inquests. In particular Article 2 inquests involving the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Awards

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

Crime


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. He 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 also specialises in representing clients charged with Road Traffic offences such as careless driving, speeding, drink driving and failing to provide a specimen. He has successfully represented clients on several occasions in advancing special reasons and exceptional hardship arguments. Such clients have included high-net-worth individuals and media personalities.

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

Other highlights of Christopher’s criminal 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 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.

Due to Chris’s unique experience in media regulation he has also built a practice in media and information crime, including cases involving copyright infringement, malicious communications, “trolling”, data protection offences, computer misuse act offences and pirate radio, and has provided advice on whether an article may attract criminal liability if published.

CASES:

  • R v G&M: Led by Mark Milliken-Smith QC. Prosecution of unlawful act manslaughter.
  • Client accused of conspiring to produce MDMA along with a biochemist in a case referred to as a real life “Breaking Bad”. Led by Dean Armstrong QC. Acquitted.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Client accused of blackmail. Acquitted.
  • Father accused of inflicting actual bodily harm on his son. Acquitted.
  • Client accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm in a case of “road rage”. Acquitted.
  • Client accused of being concerned in the supply of Class A and Class B drugs. Acquitted.

Fraud


Chris acts for clients charged with large-scale conspiracies to defraud and money laundering. He has particular experience of working in Very High Cost Cases and in cases that attract national media attention.

He has been involved in several large and complex conspiracy to defraud trials, concerning cybercrime and commodities fraud (rare earth metals and carbon credits). He also appeared as a led junior in the prosecution of a man accused of defrauding the National Lottery.

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 in both London and Geneva.

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

Cases

 

  • Fraud: Defendant alleged to have defrauded the National Lottery by using an insider to create a forged ticket.
  • VAT evasion: Defendant alleged to have dealt with cigarettes on which no duty had been paid. Acquitted.
  • Conspiracy to defraud: Alleged “boiler room” fraud in which investors were sold Carbon credits. Chris represented a Director of the brokerage company. Led by Simon Baker. Acquitted.
  • Fraud: Client alleged to have submitted fraudulent mortgage applications and laundered over £1 million thereafter. Led by Craig Rush. Acquitted.
  • Fraud: Client was a courier alleged to have made fraudulent claims for work that had not been carried out. Acquitted;
  • Fraud: 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;
  • Conspiracy to defraud: prosecuted by National Trading Standards. Trademark infringement and Consumer Protection offences also on original indictment. Led by Andrew McGee;
  • Conspiracy to defraud. Boiler room fraud in which investors were sold “Rare Earth Metals”. Chris represented the Director of the company’s Zurich office. Led by Kevin Toomey;
  • Theft: Client accused of stealing almost £100,000 from a close relative after being appointed Power of Attorney;
  • Individual accused of making a fraudulent claim under the “right to buy” scheme;
  • Money laundering case which involved an elaborate scheme of intercepting bank cheques, falsifying them and cashing them into various bank accounts.

Regulatory


Christopher’s regulatory practice includes: healthcare, media and sports (please see sports law page of profile).

Chris is a member of the Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law Panel (Panel C).

Healthcare:

He has represented and/or advised clients in relation to proceedings brought by the following healthcare bodies:

  • General Optical Council;
  • General Dental Council;
  • General Medical Council;
  • General Pharmaceutical Council;
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council;
  • the Health and Care Professions Council,
  • The UK Council for Psychotherapy,
  • British Psychoanalytic Council;
  • National Health Service England.

Media:

Before coming to the Bar, Christopher 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. At the Bar, Christopher has advised 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 and 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.

Cases

  • General Optical Council v SK: Represented registrant alleged to have failed to provide adequate prescription advice. Acquitted at facts stage;
  • General Optical Council v CJ: Represented registrant alleged to have missed a retinal detachment in the course of a routine examination. Acquitted at facts stage;
  • UK Council for Psychotherapy v MB: Represented psychotherapist alleged to have “fundamentally misled” clients. Acquitted after submission of no case to answer;
  • General Optical Council v SM: Represented registrant 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’s fitness to practise was not currently impaired;
  • Health and Care Professions Council v AB: Represented 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;
  • UK Council for Psychotherapy v BB: Psychotherapist alleged to have adopted inappropriate boundaries with a patient;
  • National Counselling Service v GL: Represented Counsellor on appeal. The registrant was 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.  Appeal successful;
  • General Optical Council v BY: Represented Optometrist at an Interim Orders hearing. Registrant alleged to have amended 49 patient records retrospectively. In its statement of facts the GOC applied to suspend the registrant. The Committee found that no such order was necessary;
  • General Optical Council v GH: Represented an optometrist at an Interim Orders hearing. 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 no such order was necessary;
  • OFCOM: 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.

Public Inquiries


Christopher is currently instructed (April 2018 to present) as junior counsel in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which was established to examine how the country’s institutions responded to their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.

Christopher was first instructed as first junior Counsel in the Archdiocese of Birmingham Case Study, part of the Roman Catholic Church investigation. As part of his role Christopher handled a number of witnesses during the live-streamed hearings, conducted a disclosure review of extensive amounts of material and advised generally during the investigation. Christopher was led by Jacqueline Carey.

Christopher was subsequently instructed as junior Counsel in the wider, final hearing of the Roman Catholic Church investigation, led by Brian Altman QC and Jacqueline Carey. Christopher again handled a number of witnesses during the live-streamed hearings, conducted a disclosure review and advised generally during the investigation.

Christopher also represents individuals and companies at Coroners’ Inquests. In particular Article 2 inquests involving the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Sports Law


Christopher acts in both a judicial capacity and as Counsel in sports disciplinary matters.

He currently holds appointments at the Lawn Tennis Association and at British Rowing.

In addition to his sitting experience, Christopher has also provided advice in relation to alleged breaches of the English Football League Regulations (led by Jim Sturman QC).

Lawn Tennis Association

Chris chairs the Safeguarding and Protection Committee at the Lawn Tennis Association – the National Governing Body for tennis in Great Britain, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

He was appointed on 3rd March 2020 for a term of three years. The Safeguarding and Protection Committee take decisions on safeguarding cases, ensuring a proportionate response to allegations of a safeguarding nature.

British Rowing

Chris is a member of the Disciplinary and Grievance Panel at British Rowing – the National Governing Body of the sport.

The Panel is set up by British Rowing to deal with matters referred to it by Regions, Clubs or individuals. The main function of the Panel is to resolve grievances, appeals (including selection appeals) and other disciplinary matters referred to it.

Directory Quotes


Very bright and able.” Legal 500 2017 (Fraud)

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 sympatheticallyLegal 500 2018 (Fraud)

“Personable and well-liked by his clientsLegal 500 2019 (Crime)

Memberships


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers

Appointments:

Chair of the Safeguarding and Protection Committee, the Lawn Tennis Association

Disciplinary and Grievance Panel Member, British Rowing

List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (List C)