Chris Daw Q.C.

Call To The Bar: 1993

“Excellent tactical analysis, good rapport with clients and extraordinary courtroom presence.” – Leading Silk, Legal 500 2016

OVERVIEW

Chris Daw QC was called to the Bar in 1993 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013. Before taking silk, Chris built his reputation in the criminal courts, acting in high profile  trials and appeals, from serious organised crime to commercial fraud. As a QC, whilst maintaining a substantial criminal and serious fraud practice, Chris acts in a broader range of matters, including business, regulatory and professional discipline instructions.

With an entirely private practice, Chris is able to dedicate the time and attention to detail required to service his principal client base of corporations, high net worth individuals, public figures and professionals in various fields. He has extensive experience of acting for the country’s most senior police officers, up to and including the rank of Chief Constable, in criminal proceedings, inquests and misconduct hearings.

Chris takes on only a small number of clients at any one time. Given the pressures on his time he tends to act for those clients who retain him at the earliest possible stage of a case, often in the pre-charge or pre-investigation phase.

In addition to major document-heavy criminal and regulatory cases, Chris has a niche practice advising and representing high net worth individuals in sensitive personal and criminal matters, where the consequences for a client’s reputation may outweigh the gravity of the issues involved. He also advises individuals and corporations on the tactical use of criminal law strategy, such as private prosecution, in both personal and commercial disputes.

Where appropriate Chris takes an aggressive and proactive approach, before proceedings even begin, drafting representations against charge, and thereafter, vigorously pursuing pre-trial applications on disclosure, abuse of process, exclusion of evidence and to dismiss charges altogether. In addition to appearing in criminal trials, inquests and disciplinary tribunals Chris advises on appeals where he did not appear at trial.

Chris approaches every case with the same high standards of preparation and clients find him direct, honest and passionate about what he does. He works closely with solicitors at every stage of a case and is always available to provide advice and support throughout the preparation of the difficult and sensitive cases in which he is involved.

Chris accepts instructions throughout the UK and, where necessary, in international jurisdictions.

CURRENT LIVE CASES

 R v Y – acting for an ultra high-net-worth and high profile Mayfair client in Crown Court proceedings for racially aggravated assault.

Police v K – advising client on pre-charge legal strategy in the face of a large-scale police investigation into international drug trafficking.

R v Doctor C – acting in a criminal appeal to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), for a doctor, convicted in 2013 in the Crown Court after trial of fraud and perverting the course of justice. Chris Daw QC did not act in the trial but was instructed to advise after conviction.

H Corporation v J Corporation – advising a corporate client on the use of private criminal prosecution strategy in the context of a substantial commercial dispute.

C v D Bank – advising on the potential deployment of criminal law strategy in the course of a piece long-running civil litigation against a high street bank.

R v U – acting in appeal against a Confiscation Order, in excess of £1 million, for fraud and money laundering, which resulted in a consecutive sentence of imprisonment of 6 years. Mr. Daw QC did not act at trial, or at the time of sentence, but was retained to advise on appeal after the Crown Court proceedings were concluded.

S Constabulary v Chief Officer T – acting for civilian Chief Officer in contested misconduct proceedings relating to expenses claims for overseas travel and corporate hospitality.

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse – acting for and advising a Chief Constable in respect of policing issues arising from historical criminal investigations under consideration by the IICSA.

UK Agency v X Corporation – acting for a multi-national corporation, and its high profile UK subsidiary, in a major international criminal investigation by UK regulators. Advising on all aspects of pre-charge strategy, including voluntary disclosure of material and formal written representations against charge.

R v Y – acting for an ultra high-net-worth and high profile Mayfair client in Crown Court proceedings for racially aggravated assault.

Police v K – advising client on pre-charge legal strategy in the face of a large-scale police investigation into international drug trafficking.

R v Doctor C – acting in criminal appeal to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), for a doctor, convicted in 2013 in the Crown Court after trial of fraud and perverting the course of justice. Chris Daw QC did not act in the trial but was instructed to advise after conviction.

Z v Z – retained pre-charge to advise an international investment banker in respect of alleged involvement in a multi-billion Euro fraud against an overseas banking institution.

R v KL– acting for a company director client, charged with offences of evading income tax and VAT, due for trial in the Crown Court in November 2016.

H Corporation v J Corporation – advising corporate client, and its directors and shareholders, on the use of private criminal prosecution strategy in the context of a substantial commercial dispute.

R v U – acting in appeal against a Confiscation Order, in excess of £1 million, for fraud and money laundering, which resulted in a consecutive sentence of imprisonment of 6 years. Mr. Daw QC did not act at trial, or at the time of sentence, but was retained to advise on appeal after the Crown Court proceedings were concluded.

S Constabulary v Chief Officer T – acting for civilian Chief Officer in contested misconduct proceedings relating to expenses claims for overseas travel and corporate hospitality.

IPCC v Chief Constable C – advising serving Chief Constable on the issues arising from a high profile IPCC criminal and gross misconduct investigation.

Doctor C v GMC – acting for a doctor in High Court appeal proceedings, against a Fitness to Practise Panel finding of unfitness of practise and erasure from the Medical Register. Did not act in the misconduct hearing but was asked to advise on appeal.
Various – amongst other current matters are sensitive cases involving high net worth individuals, professional people and senior police officers, under investigation for regulatory breaches, professional disciplinary offences and criminal offences. Also, advising corporations and company directors in relation to criminal investigation of them or their businesses and also criminal activity against them by employees, business partners and competitors.

NOTABLE RECENT CASES

R v John Terry – acted for the former England and current Chelsea football captain in his high profile trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match. Client was found not guilty by the Senior District Judge. Also acted for Mr. Terry in related proceedings before the Football Association Regulatory Commission.
The Hillsborough Disaster Inquests – acted for two retired Chief Superintendents who oversaw key elements of the South Yorkshire Police investigation into the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989. The inquests, which continued over two years, were heard by Sir John Goldring with a jury and concluded in 2016.
OPCC F v Chief Constable G – acted for the Chief Constable of a large police force, who originally faced 16 misconduct charges relating to inappropriate behaviour towards women and data protection breaches. Client was cleared of all 10 allegations of gross misconduct by an independent panel, which recommended that he return to office. Client subsequently reached a compromise agreement and resigned from office, following  initiation of separate proceedings, under s.38 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The “Cardiff Three” Case (R v Ian Massey) – Leading counsel in a 14 handed corruption and perjury case, surrounding the notorious prosecution of the “Cardiff 3” for the murder of Lynette White, said by the Crown to be case of unique complexity. This was the largest case of alleged police corruption in legal history. The 6 month trial, said to have cost £30 million, ended with a not guilty verdict after successful disclosure applications led the prosecution to offer no evidence.
Kenneth Noye & others v Prison Department – Briefed on behalf of the ten most dangerous men in Britain in a Judicial Review action over conditions of detention at the notorious Special Secure Unit at Whitemoor Prison. All clients were transferred elsewhere and the unit was closed.
R v Olatunde Adetoro – Counsel for the main defendant in a case of mass shooting in the North of England using an AK-47 assault rifle. This nationally publicised high security trial concerned the shooting of five innocent people in the course of a single incident.

NOTABLE CASES BEFORE THE COURT OF APPEAL

R v YDG [2012] All ER (D) 233 – Important authority on the powers of the Crown Court in respect of Preparatory Hearings and abuse of process where the Crown seeks to go behind the terms of an agreed confiscation order. Trial judge’s purported revocation of a Preparatory Hearing found to be unlawful by the Court of Appeal.
Attorney General’s Reference (No. 43 of 2009) [2009] EWCA Crime 1925 (2009) – Leading counsel in one of the largest ever cases of commercial supply of firearms in the UK. Now the guideline case on sentence in respect of large-scale gun supply, with judgment given by the Lord Chief Justice.
R v Seddon [2009] 2 Cr. App. R. 9 – Successful appeal against conviction where client was extradited for one set of offences but the Crown prosecuted others. Now the leading authority on the scope of criminal prosecutions for extradited defendants, with judgment given by the Vice President.

PRE-CHARGE & ADVISORY

A & B – retained to advise two London commercial property agents in relation to allegations of bribery and corruption in the property market.

Z v Z – retained pre-charge to advise an international investment banker in respect of alleged involvement in a multi-billion Euro fraud against an overseas banking institution.

R v SB – Retained to advise a commercial property landlord pre-charge in respect of alleged tax and VAT fraud in the operation of his business. No charges were brought after successful and detailed representations to HMRC and the CPS.

R v NM – advised a senior doctor pre-charge in respect of an alleged multi-million pound fraud against the NHS. After advising on the preparation of a file of evidence and drafting detailed written representations no charges were brought by the CPS and the police investigation was closed.

A v B – advised an international hedge fund on alleged fraud and computer misuse committed against it by a former director and oversaw the preparation of a file of evidence to be submitted to UK prosecutors in support of a criminal complaint. The case was related to one of the most expensive pieces of civil litigation in UK legal history

C v D – advised a publishing company on the preparation of criminal complaint of fraud by a former Financial Director.

E Limited v F – advised a high profile luxury retail company on computer misuse and malicious data theft/destruction, by a former senior employee, and oversaw the preparation of a file of evidence to be presented to the police. The case was prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service and the defendant was convicted in the Crown Court and imprisoned.

G v H – advised two ultra high net worth clients on the criminal actions of a family member, including perjury, in the course of a multi-million pound probate dispute.

R v AS and BS – acted pre-charge for two clients under cross-jurisdictional investigation in the UK and Europe for cheating the public revenue. Following an extensive pre-charge defence investigation, and detailed representations to the prosecution authorities, no charges were brought against either client.

REGULATORY

• R v CSUP – acting for a retired Chief Superintendent in a Crown Court trial for misconduct in public office, perverting the course of justice and perjury, arising from the execution of his duties. Client was found not guilty on all counts by a unanimous verdict of the jury.

POLICE v DSUP – acted for a Detective Superintendent who avoided dismissal following limited findings against him at a contested misconduct hearing.

POLICE v SUP – acted for a Superintendent who was cleared of all allegations of gross misconduct (including honesty and integrity breaches) following a contested misconduct hearing.

POLICE v ACC – advising a serving Chief Officer on issues arising under s.40 of the PRSRA 2011.

POLICE v DSUP – acted for a Detective Superintendent in a contested misconduct hearing involving, allegations of breaches of honesty and integrity, in the activity of Special Branch in a sensitive national security function.

E Constabulary v Superintendent F – Acted in full and contested Misconduct Hearing, involving accusations surrounding client’s arrest (but not charge) for criminal offences of dishonesty. All allegations dismissed, in part on medical/psychiatric grounds, and client returned to duty. Hearing held in private.

Officer G v H Constabulary – Successful appeal to the Police Appeal Tribunal, against sanction of dismissal without notice for findings of Gross Misconduct arising from personal business activity and alleged assault whilst off duty, where medical / psychiatric evidence, not available to the original panel, was admitted on appeal. Client reinstated and returned to duty.

J Constabulary v Chief Superintendent K – Acted for client in contested misconduct proceedings, involving allegations surrounding personal conduct, giving rise to issues of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and disability discrimination in respect of mental health issues. Client reached compromise agreement and resigned before a Misconduct Hearing, with no findings of misconduct.

FRAUD & MONEY LAUNDERING

R v GB – leading counsel in a large-scale case of commercial fraud against the Ministry of Defence, originally fixed for a 3 month trial at Southwark Crown Court. Before trial no evidence offered by the prosecution after the submission of detailed representations to the CPS that the case was an abuse of process. Not Guilty verdicts entered by the judge and a Defence Costs Order granted.

R v MF – leading counsel for a senior Barclays Bank Commercial Manager charged with conspiring to defraud the bank of over £5 million in a series of commercial property transactions. Jury could not reach a verdict after a 3 month trial at Southwark Crown Court.

R v ZY – acted for a company director charged with fraud against numerous financial institutions in the operation of his business. No evidence was offered by the prosecution before trial after detailed submissions on disclosure of sensitive material. Not guilty verdicts entered by the judge.

R v MH – acted for a company director charged with fraud and money laundering in respect of a multi-million pound intra-community VAT fraud.

X v X – Retained to advise on the criminal actions of a litigant (perjury and fraud) in the course of a substantial probate dispute.

Y v Y – Retained to advise on the criminal actions of a former director (computer misuse and fraud) in an international financial institution.

R v DG – Successfully negotiated a court-sanctioned plea bargain for a client charged with laundering over £1 million of cash and property from a major international drugs conspiracy. No prison sentence was imposed and substantial assets were returned to the client.

R v LS – leading counsel in a major money laundering prosecution at Southwark Crown Court, alleged to involve over £30 million of bank transfers from the proceeds of international organised crime. Client acquitted by the jury after trial.

R v HR – acted for one of the principal defendants in a 15 handed money laundering case. Said to be one of the largest international money laundering cases every prosecuted, with cash in the region of £200 million being sent abroad via the money transfer sector and the banking system.

R v SK – following negotiation and representations, proceedings discontinued against client for involvement in laundering the proceeds of a bank “transaction reversal” fraud involving a major attack on the banking system.

R v SA – Acted for a senior police officer charged with money laundering offences in respect of commercial property and international money transfers. The case collapsed after submissions that the whole proceedings amounted to an abuse of process due to disclosure failures by the CPS.

R v MM – instructed for a serving police Superintendent, charged with numerous offences of fraud and deception in connection with his police service with several different forces.

Trading Standards v PK – Leading counsel for the main defendant in a case involving a long-running and highly organised conspiracy to defraud small businesses by the use of commercial telesales techniques in a criminal enterprise.

HMRC v LC – Money laundering the multi-million pound proceeds of one of the largest MTIC (“carousel”) frauds ever tried in the UK, involving voluminous evidence from Gibraltar, Hong Kong and other international jurisdictions.

R v CB – Multi-million pound long-firm commercial fraud case where the Crown relies heavily on probe recordings from intrusive surveillance. Issues include disclosure from other jurisdictions, abuse of process by multiple prosecutions and evidence tampering. Client avoided a prison sentence after court-sanctioned plea bargain was negotiated with the prosecution on his behalf.

R v MD – Counsel for one of the principal defendants in a 12 handed conspiracy to cheat the revenue, involving alleged multi-million pound MTIC (“carousel”) fraud through trading in industrial metals.

R v HK – SOCA prosecution alleging international money laundering with the use of a Money Transfer Bureau (“MTB”) and the organised crime technique of “cuckoo smurfing” to launder £30 million of cash via the banking system. Acted for the only defendant to be cleared by the jury at trial.

HMRC v Jones – Leading counsel for one of the principal defendants in a £20 million VAT and duty evasion fraud relating to the large-scale commercial trading of imported cigarettes and tobacco. One of only two of the ten defendants not to be convicted at trial.

HMRC v Jones – Leading counsel for one of the principal defendants in a £20 million VAT and duty evasion fraud relating to the large-scale commercial trading of imported cigarettes and tobacco. One of only two of the ten defendants not to be convicted at trial.

R v LD – 14 handed corruption and fraud case involving Trafford Council in Manchester. One of the largest ever investigations into alleged fraud by senior council employees. Client received a suspended sentence after proceedings lasting eight years.

R v H – Leading counsel for the main defendant in a case of long-firm commercial fraud using a pyramid scheme. Although convicted as the principal the client was the only defendant not to receive any immediate prison sentence.

FACT v Bowes – International copyright fraud case involving the trade in illegal downloads of music and video material. Over 4 million pages of evidence was obtained from websites and servers all over the world, primarily in the United States. One of the largest private prosecutions ever undertaken.

R v G – Laundering millions in both cash and property on behalf of one of the largest drug traffickers in the North of England. Case stopped before a jury was sworn after legal argument on disclosure.

R v Lodge – Counsel for the defendant in a long firm commercial fraud case involving the “phoenixing” of corporate assets and commercial property assets in order to defraud creditors of millions of pounds.

R v TS – Counsel for a serving police officer, charged with fraud. The case was stayed as an abuse of process after counsel successfully argued that the Defendant had been persecuted by his fellow officers and that it would be unfair for him to be tried.

R v Perry – Counsel for a company director client, alleged to be involved in misrepresenting corporate structures and commercial agreements for financial gain.

R v Barrie – Successful defence of a businessman alleged to be involved in highly organised fraud against lenders in respect of commercial property.

SERIOUS & COMPLEX CRIME

R x FM – acted for an entrepreneur charged with blackmail and assault in the context of substantial commercial dispute. Issues of abuse of process after the CPS reversed a  decision not to bring charges. Client received a non-custodial sentence following a “plea-bargain”.

R v KO – acted for an American citizen charged with an offence of rape, allegedly committed in London, acquitted by the jury in a re-trial.

R v SA –instructed in substantial Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings arising from a large-scale prosecution for drug trafficking, involving issues of resulting trusts in family property transfers. Prosecution application for an order in excess of £500,000 reduced to an order for a nominal sum. following service of written response under s.17 of POCA, drafted by counsel.

R v BA – acted for the main defendant in an 8 handed conspiracy to supply firearms with intent to endanger life, including machine guns with live ammunition for use in organised crime activity nationwide.

R v SLS – Leading counsel for the alleged architect of a £533 million conspiracy to import high purity cocaine into the UK from mainland Europe via the port of Dover, hidden in industrial equipment. Client was a High Risk Category A Prisoner until he was acquitted by the jury at trial.

HMRC v MK – Conspiracy to import multiple 100 kilo shipments of pure cocaine from Trinidad, via mainland Europe. Extensive international surveillance and shipping evidence as well as hundreds of hours of product from audio probes placed in vehicles.

R v WM – Conspiracy to commit armed robbery in a highly disciplined fashion. Attracted substantial publicity as one of the defendants received multiple gunshot wounds at the hands of the arresting officers.

R v WI – allegation of blackmail of a multi-millionaire businessman in the context of an international commercial transaction.

R v Statham – Counsel for the main defendant in a case involving the multi-tonne supply of cannabis throughout the UK. Extensive surveillance evidence involved, including de facto telephone tapping, which was the subject of prolonged legal argument, and lifestyle evidence of high levels of casino gambling.

R v Firth – Leading counsel for the main defendant in one of the largest drug supply conspiracies in Yorkshire, where the main evidence came from a “supergrass”. Case stayed after months of legal argument and disclosure of tapes and transcripts of the prison telephone calls of the principal prosecution witness.

R v Walker – Leading counsel for the main defendant in a conspiracy where over 30 armed robberies were committed over just a few months.

R v Davies – Leading counsel in a conspiracy to supply cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis on a massive scale and throughout the North of England. Evidence from intrusive surveillance, telephone call pattern analysis and cell-siting. Extensive applications for disclosure of material under s.8 of the CPIA 1996. Successfully appealed.

R v Gunning – Counsel for the main defendant who was cleared by the jury of involvement in a conspiracy to supply a vast number of American factory made handguns and hollowpoint ammunition, as well as 20 kilos of heroin.

R v Ainsley – Leading counsel for a defendant cleared at a retrial of involvement in a large scale conspiracy to manufacture and supply heroin. The main witness was a “supergrass” and significant issues of disclosure arose.

HMRC v Hassiakos – Counsel for the main defendant in a case of multi-million pound supply of cannabis, imported and distributed in multi-tonne quantities. Significant issues of property law in connection with the confiscation proceedings.

R v Elezi – Human trafficking of women as “sex slaves” from Lithuania, across Europe and into the UK, by an organised crime syndicate from Albania. Sensitive issues of disclosure including cross-border requests for information on the witnesses’ criminal history.

R v CH – Client cleared of involvement in the importation and onward distribution of vast quantities of Class A and B drugs, including over a tonne of cannabis, with seizures from just one week’s shipments valued at over £10 million and total alleged importations over £100 million.

MURDER

R v TE – leading counsel for a club DJ murder, tried at the Old Bailey, with complex issues of causation and underlying brain injury. Client acquitted by the jury.

R v Curtis – Counsel for one of the principal defendants in a case of gangland murder of a former paratrooper. Client cleared of murder by the jury in just 50 minutes.

R v Machin – Murder of a drug dealer in a turf war in Manchester.  Subsequently advised on the prospects of success for a fresh evidence appeal.

R v Hill – Client cleared of murder of a Korean student in the course of a robbery.

R v CW – client cleared by the jury at trial of two counts of the attempted murder of two police officers, shot at with a shotgun in the course of a police chase.

R v MR – client cleared of attempted murder in the course of a “drive by shooting” in Birmingham following a successful submission of no case to answer.

ASSOCIATED WORK

Chris Daw also practises from Sergeant’s Inn Chambers in London – www.serjeantsinn.com
Chris has appeared on national radio and television to provide expert insight into high profile legal issues within his areas of expertise.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS