Instructed as leading counsel for a serving Chief Constable in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, scheduled to commence public hearings in 2017
“Excellent tactical analysis, good rapport with clients and extraordinary courtroom presence.”
The Legal 500
Experience & Expertise
Chris acts only for privately funded and insured clients, allowing him to dedicate the time and attention to detail which such clients demand. His client base consists of high-net-worth individuals, corporations and professionals in various fields. He has considerable experience of acting for the most senior police officers in the country, from Superintendent up to and including the rank of Chief Constable, in both criminal and professional discipline cases.
First and foremost Chris Daw QC is known for his reassuring ability to see clients safely through the most serious, and potentially devastating, investigations, prosecutions and disciplinary proceedings. As soon as he is instructed, Chris takes a proactive approach and works closely with clients and solicitors at every stage of a case, often before any proceedings have begun. He has particular expertise in advising on pre-investigation and pre-charge strategy, where engagement with prosecution and investigation agencies can avoid charges altogether. Chris also has a niche practice advising individuals and corporations on the merits of pursuing private criminal prosecutions, both for personal matters and in connection with commercial disputes.
When instructed to defend serious allegations of criminal or disciplinary misconduct, Chris is known for a relentless approach to preparation and legal applications, including dismissal, exclusion of evidence, disclosure and abuse of process. He has vast experience of jury trials and disciplinary tribunals and enjoys a reputation for tactical excellence, creative legal strategy and persuasive advocacy at every stage of his cases. Chris regularly accepts instructions to act in appeals in cases where he did not appear at trial.
Given the high public profile of many of his cases, Chris has gained experience of the field of public relations and works closely with PR professionals to ensure that media communications, on behalf of his clients, are accurate and in line with the legal strategy being pursued.
Chris acts for clients all over the UK and where necessary overseas. He adopts a modern and flexible approach to client relations, including extensive use of direct client communications, electronic evidence management and videoconferencing.
Given his all-consuming approach to preparation, Chris acts for a select group of clients at any given time. He is generally instructed in the early stages of an investigation, often before charges are brought. Fee levels are dictated by the skill and experience which Chris demonstrates and take account of the high level of demand for his advice.
Chris Daw QC is a member of both Serjeants’ Inn Chambers and Lincoln House in Manchester – www.lincolnhousechambers.com
Chris has appeared in the media, on both the radio and television, to provide expert insight and commentary on legal issues. He also addresses professional organisations on legal issues and strategy affecting their spheres of operation.
CURRENT LIVE CASES
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 businessman charged with Cheating the Public Revenue in respect of evasion of VAT over a period of several years, due for trial in the Crown Court 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.
- 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 involved in the South Yorkshire Police investigation into the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989. That investigation is alleged by some to have involved a “cover-up” of police responsibility for the disaster. The longest inquest and the longest jury proceedings in English legal history concluded in April 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.
NOTABLE CASES BEFORE THE COURT OF APPEAL
- R v YDG  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)  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  2 Cr. App. R. 9 – Successful appeal against conviction where client was extradited for one set of offences but the Crown prosecuted others. A 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. After a four year investigation by multiple prosecution agencies no further action was taken against them and the matter was dropped.
- R v CSUP – acting for a retired Chief Superintendent in criminal proceedings for perverting the course of justice and perjury, arising from the execution of his duties. Due for trial in the Crown Court in October 2016
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.SERIOUS & COMPLEX CRIME
- 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 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.
- R v WI – allegation of blackmail of a multi-millionaire businessman in the context of an international commercial transaction.
- 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 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 TE – leading counsel for a club DJ charged with murder, tried at the Old Bailey, with complex issues of causation and underlying brain injury. Client acquitted by the jury.
Chris has been rated a Leading Silk and Leading Individual by the Legal 500 in each full year since taking silk in 2013.
- Criminal Bar Association
- Fraud Lawyers Association
- Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association
- Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Every client I represent has his or her whole life on the line. I understand that more is at stake for my clients than the outcome of a legal case. Career, family and business relationships, public reputation and financial security are all at risk if we lose. My approach reflects that reality.
Creative strategy and tactical excellence can often achieve more than legal knowledge alone. Clients instruct a silk not only because we know the law but because we have the judgement to make the big decisions, which will achieve the client’s ultimate goal, often without going to court at all.
“Creative strategy and tactical excellence can often achieve more than legal knowledge alone.”
Corporate and high profile clients care about public relations and it is vital to listen when they tell me that their priority may not be to fight every point to the death, even if they will win it in the end.
Every client is the most important member of the legal team. I do not believe in a top down approach to litigation. Clients are central to the outcome, at every stage of a case, and their input, into key decisions and documents, is vital.
For further details of Chris’ practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.
Bar Council Membership No: 31292
Registered Name: Christopher Daw
VAT Registration No: 588711987