Chris Daw Q.C.
Chris Daw was called to the Bar in 1993 and practises primarily in the fields of serious crime, commercial fraud and professional discipline.
Chris has a national reputation for his conduct of major criminal cases. His practice for many years has focussed on criminal conspiracies with voluminous documentary evidence and frequently with an international element. He has acted as leading counsel on many occasions over the past decade. Chris is also frequently asked to advise and represent high net worth individuals in respect of criminal and regulatory matters of all kinds, generally from the very early stages of any investigation or prosecution, offering the reassurance and support such clients demand from the very outset. Such cases often have personal or reputational consequences far beyond the criminal proceedings themselves.
Chris takes an aggressive and pro-active approach before proceedings even begin, drafting representations against charge, and thereafter, vigorously pursuing pre-trial applications on disclosure, abuse of process and exclusion of evidence. He acts for privately funded clients and, in exceptional circumstances by prior agreement, in publicly funded cases of gravity, complexity and public interest. Chris regularly accepts instructions to advise prior to charge and also to conduct appeals before the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in cases 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.
Current Live Cases 2013/2014
• R v GB - leading counsel in a large-scale case of fraud against the Ministry of Defence, fixed for a 3 month trial at Southwark Crown Court in September 2013.
• 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, fixed for a 2 month trial at Southwark Crown Court in January 2014.
• R v TE – leading counsel in a case of murder, listed for trial at the Old Bailey, with complex issues of causation and underlying brain injury.
• R v AF – acting for a company director charged with the fraudulent operation of a property management company in relation to a large residential development.
• R v KO – acting for an American citizen charged with an offence of rape, allegedly committed in London, to be tried at Southwark Crown Court in 2013.
• R v ZY – acting for a company director charged with fraud against financial institutions in the operation of his business.
• R v LA – Retained to advise on an appeal against conviction for murder.
• R v SA – Retained to advise on an appeal against conviction for conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.
• R v NM – Retained to advise a senior doctor pre-charge in respect of an alleged multi-million fraud against the NHS.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 employee, business partners and competitors.
Notable Recent 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 Crim 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. Now the leading authority on the scope of criminal prosecutions for extradited defendants, with judgment given by the Vice President.
• R v John Terry - acted for the former England and current Chelsea football captain in proceedings for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. Client was acquitted at trial by the Senior District Judge. Also acted for Mr. Terry in linked proceedings before the Football Association Regulatory Commission.
• 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 ever case of police corruption in legal history. The 6 month trial, which cost £30 million, ended with a not guilty verdict after successful arguments that the disclosure process was unfair. BBC - collapse of largest ever corruption trial
• 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. The Independent - Closure of Special Secure Unit
• 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. The nationally publicised high security trial concerned the shooting of five innocent people in the course of a single incident. BBC News - The day the bullets flew.
Fraud and Money Laundering
• 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.
• R v MM – instructed for a serving 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. TIS - Telesales fraud case
• HMRC v LC - Money laundering the multi-million pound proceeds of one of the largest MTIC (“carousel”) frauds ever tried in the UK, involving substantial 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.
• 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 principle 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. MEN - Trafford Council fraud
• 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
Drugs and Other Serious Crime
• 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. Half billion cocaine conspiracy
• 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. Sky News - "Armed Robber" shot
• 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 principle 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. MEN - Terror robber
• 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. TIS - Mr. Big
• 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. BBC - Sex trafficking
• 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, with total importations over £100 million.
• 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.
• 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 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. BBC News - Bouncer murder
• R v Machin – Murder of a drug dealer in a turf war in Manchester.
• R v Hill – Client cleared of murder of a Korean student in the course of a robbery.
Chris Daw also practises from 25 Bedford Row in London - http://www.25bedfordrow.com/
Member of Criminal Bar Association, the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association and the Fraud Lawyers’ Association
T. 0161 832 5701
Download Chris Daw CV