Christopher is always interested in the unusual and challenging, and with his extensive experience of jury trials is recognised as a leading and tenacious advocate across his range of practice areas including:

  • Criminal Defence
  • Private Prosecutions
  • Regulatory
  • Divorce & Matrimonial Finance
  • Business & Property
  • Chancery
  • Coroner's Inquests
  • Personal Injury

Criminal Law

Christopher is recognised for his wide level of criminal advocacy experience and is regularly instructed in the defence of serious cases such as homicide, terrorism and complex financial crime, including as a leader.

He has particular expertise and Court of Appeal success in issues surrounding the use and protection of informants, including procedural “know how", provision of discounts, Section 73 Serious Organised Crime & Police Act (SOCPA) “super grass” agreements, and informants identified by Court Order.

He was instructed in the leading informant discount case of R v Blackburn and P, also reported as R v P. In 2017 Christopher represented the identified informant in Operation Shelter known as “XY” in Newcastle.

He has an interest in entrapment, undercover and agent provocateur cases, including those involving child sex offences and internet grooming and has defended victims of "Dark Justice". Christopher has dealt with cases involving Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS).

He is instructed in Serious Sex Cases including sexual assault, rape, historical and institutionalised sexual abuse, indecent images, prostitution and soliciting and internet grooming. He has successfully defended allegations of rape, marital rape and sexual allegations against police officers.

Christopher is a Crown Court Recorder authorised to try Class 2 Serious Sex Cases.

Christopher was commended by the police and CPS for his part in Operation Fibre resulting in the prosecution of three men accused of grooming and child sex offences in Teesside including counts of arranging/facilitating commission of a child sex offence, sexual activity with a child and child abduction.

He has been instructed by the defence and prosecution in relation to major armed robberies and conspiracies to rob. He was involved in Northumbria Police’s Operation Zoom. Christopher is instructed in relation to cases involving firearms, including leading the defence in the case of the shooting and murder of South Shields takeaway owner, Tipu Sultan.

Christopher has particular expertise in disclosure and third-party disclosure issues in criminal proceedings. He is instructed in complex Proceeds of Crime (POCA) cases particularly arising from regulatory offences prosecuted by local authorities. He is experienced in financial crime cases involving allegations of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, mortgage fraud and money laundering.

Christopher is instructed in one of the first prosecutions under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 where a landlord is alleged to have exploited his tenants to work without pay in return for accommodation.

Christopher is experienced in dealing with clients with mental health and/or learning difficulties including using intermediaries and other special measures during court proceedings. He can put vulnerable clients at ease, build rapport and explain the particular circumstances of their case and the often daunting court process. Christopher deals with cases involving insanity, fitness to plead and Mental Health Act disposals.

Christopher also deals with private prosecution matters.


Christopher is instructed in a range of regulatory matters, including professional discipline, environmental protection and prosecuting and defending under the Waste Management Regulations, including illegal tipping and scrapping. He has successfully defended proceedings brought by DEFRA alleging animal cruelty at a large commercial meat processing factory. 

Recent cases include the successful dismissal of private prosecution proceedings against a large land developer based on alleged damage to the habitat of the legally protected Great Crested Newt.

In Willis v Derwentside District Council, Christopher successfully represented the claimants in a claim involving the escape of stythe gas at the site of a former coal mine.

Capitalising on his extensive criminal experience, Christopher is instructed in Proceeds of Crime (POCA) cases brought by Local Authorities and other public bodies seeking to recover assets arising from regulatory breaches such as trade mark infringement, environmental protection, tipping and scrapping.

Motor Offences

With his extensive motor offence defence experience, Christopher deals with cases involving causing death by dangerous, careless and inconsiderate driving. In R v Hughes, Christopher acted for the successful appellant driver charged with causing death by driving whilst unlicensed and without insurance. The case has largely eliminated simple prosecutions for this offence. He has advised in several similar cases since for the prosecution and defence.

As well as private motor users, Christopher is also instructed in relation to commercial vehicles, including unintended acceleration cases involving fatality.

He has defended several high-profile sporting and public figures and personalities.

Divorce & Matrimonial Finance

Christopher has an extensive matrimonial finance practice focused on remedies following divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships in high value and complex money cases. His practice covers farms and agricultural property, trusts, professionals (doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, financial advisers), sportsmen/women, entrepreneurs, offshore asset tracing (Bearer Shares, holding companies), businesses (limited companies and partnerships), inherited wealth, pension valuations (final salary, police, NHS, military) and insolvency. He also deals with the variation of complex financial settlements, as well as professional negligence cases relating to matrimonial finance.

In matrimonial finance proceedings, Christopher regularly deals with Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearings as well as mediations and Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) arbitrations.

Integrating his civil and Chancery practice, Christopher deals with cohabitee disputes and other Trusts of Land and Trustees Act (ToLATA) applications.

He is instructed in Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 financial applications and high value child maintenance claims. Christopher also represents parents and extended family members in private family law proceedings including contested residence and contact issues.

He is experienced in dealing with high profile clients including senior business figures, television personalities, premiership football players and other sporting personalities.

Civil & Common Law

Christopher is instructed in civil and common law matters – ranging from personal injury, clinical negligence, commercial and property disputes, contentious probate and professional negligence.

With extensive experience of jury trials against the police, Christopher specialises in claims for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office.

Coroner's Inquests

Deploying his extensive jury trial advocacy experience,combined with his civil law expertise Christopher is instructed in a wide range of Coroner's Inquest matters including cases involving death in custody, work accidents, road accidents and deaths related to allegations of clinical negligence.


  • Crown Court Recorder (authorised to try Class 2 Serious Sex Cases)
  • Deputy Head of Chambers and Treasurer
  • Grade 4 Prosecutor CPS
  • Appointed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to hear Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) Appeals


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Association of Military Court Advocates


Christopher regularly delivers seminars on ancillary relief matters in addition to financial aspects of criminal proceedings for example proceeds of crime, money laundering and evidence.


BA (Hons) Durham.


Whilst Christopher is qualified and able to accept instructions directly from individuals, businesses and professional organisations, given the range and complexity of work he deals with, this often results in him working collaboratively with solicitors. Under direct public access Christopher has dealt with NHS complaints, actions against the police, matrimonial finance disputes, child maintenance/support Tribunals, care home regulation and professional disciplinary matters before the General Optical Council. He also accepts private prosecution instructions.


Christopher is the Deputy Head of Trinity and is Chambers' Management Committee Treasurer. He has been a Bar Standards Board External Moderator on the Bar Vocational Course. Christopher is a Director of two small property management companies, giving him commercial and pragmatic insight as well as an understanding of Board level governance, duties and responsibilities. Christopher was previously a Governor of a successful independent school for 15 years.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Clerking team

Liam Gorman

Lead Criminal & Regulatory Clerk

0191 245 9521


01642 247 569

Direct Access Clerk

01642 247 569

Lead Family Clerk

0191 245 9551

Lead Civil Clerk

0191 245 9589

Criminal & Regulatory Clerk

0191 245 9550

Criminal & Regulatory Clerk

0191 245 9542
  • "A quick-witted junior."

    Legal 500 2024

  • "Christopher is skilful and extremely experienced"

    Crime, Chambers UK 2023

  • "He is very meticulous and thorough, and his attention to detail is second to none. His experience and depth of knowledge is outstanding"

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2022

  • "Notable recent cases have involved political extremism, modern slavery, and firearms"

    Crime, Legal 500 2021

  • "He is exceptional on his feet. Silk material."

    Legal 500 2022

  • "An experienced barrister who is praised for his skilful advocacy in organised crime cases. While he regularly acts for the defence, he has also represented the CPS and HMRC. He has significant experience in homicide cases and matters concerning financial crime". “Agile in court and extremely experienced."

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2021

  • "He prepares his cases in a meticulous manner and his advocacy is first class"

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2020

  • "He is a tenacious and able advocate." "Experienced in a huge range of cases."

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2019

  • "His bedside manners are fantastic. Clients really warm to him. His cross-examination is superb. He is very useful in cases when you're required to think outside the box."

    Family/Matrimonial, Chambers & Partners 2018

  • "He's exceptionally able and in demand."

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2018

  • "Clients find him wonderful. They really like him. He is fantastic on his feet. His cross-examination is great!" "He is very experienced and someone you can call 24/7."

    Family/Matrimonial, Chambers & Partners 2018

  • "Brilliant on his feet"

    Legal 500 2017

  • "Impressive junior with an extremely diverse practice, he has significant experience in homicide cases and matters concerning financial crime. While he regularly acts for defence counsel, he has also acted for the CPS and HMRC." "He's a seasoned performer who leaves the court impressed"

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2017

  • "Vastly experienced senior junior who has an excellent reputation for money work. He specialises in high-value ancillary relief cases with corporate issues, and receives praise for his tenacious approach in court.”"A terrific cross-examiner, he'll fight our corner to the end of the earth." "He's been doing it for years but he's so enthusiastic, he makes every client feel they're his only case."

    Family, Chambers & Partners 2017

  • "He is outstanding in cross-examination, and has passion and enthusiasm for every single case."

    Legal 500 2016

  • "His care and passion for each and every case really shows."

    Legal 500 2015

  • "Extremely tenacious and he knows his stuff...attention to detail is second to none" "A formidable advocate"

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2016

  • "an advocate for the high-end finance cases - but he is also the type of advocate who treats all cases like high-end cases; he is very dedicated" "very accommodating and approachable and always finds an answer. His cross-examination is superb"

    Family, Chambers & Partners 2016

  • "Handles a number of family finance matters on behalf of high net worth clients, and is noted for undertaking particularly challenging cases. He has a wealth of experience in dealing with ancillary relief proceedings and is highly praised for his innovative advocacy style."He fights his corner time and again. He is excellent at cross-examination." "He thinks outside of the box and his cross-examination is superb.""

    Family/Matrimonial, Chambers & Partners 2015

  • "Advises clients in complex criminal defence cases. He is recommended for his capabilities in serious sex offences and cases involving informants. Successfully prosecuted members of a sex attack gang who groomed underage girls"

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2015

  • "He always goes the extra mile"

    Legal 500 2014

  • "A vastly experienced criminal barrister with an aptitude for handling complex homicide cases. He is renowned for his ability to act in cases that involve informants. "He is the best barrister I know by a country mile. He is tenacious and inquisitive, and he has a first-rate manner with clients."

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2014

  • "Christopher is knowledgeable and relatable"

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2024

  • "frequently instructed in high-value ancillary relief cases. Instructing solicitors are quick to praise his powerful advocacy. "He is always calm, collected and approachable, with a down-to-earth manner that always puts clients at ease. He is always well prepared, with a complete mastery of the facts of the case in great detail, no matter how complex.""

    Family/ Matrimonial, Chambers & Partners 2014

  • "provides ‘superb client care’ in financial remedy cases"

    Legal 500 2013

  • "a noted expert in high-value provision cases. Commentators praise his powerful advocacy and considerable experience in the field."

    Family, Chambers & Partners 2013

R v L [2017] – successful defence of allegations of rape by a police officer.

R v G [2016] – successful defence of allegations of marital rape.

R v Hughes (Appellant) [2013] UKSC56 – successful appeal by driver charged with causing death by driving whilst unlicensed and without insurance.

CPS v Moulden [2009] 1 WLR 1173 – Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

R v Ruddick [2004] 1 CAR (S)7 - Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

R v Blackburn [2007] EWCA Crim 2290 – leading informant discount/plea bargaining case.

R v Love EWCA – death by dangerous driving.

R v Allsopp [2005] EWCA Crim 703 – one of the earliest reported RIPA cases, involving covert surveillance and interception of telephone communications.

R v Dodds [2003] 1 CRApp R3 – contempt of court, reluctant juror case.

R v Offen [2001] 1 All ER 253 – Human Rights.

AG's Ref (No.95 of 2009) (Blight)[2010] EWCA Crim 353 -sentencing and knife crime.

R v Mark Phillips [2008] EWCA 2830 – sleepwalking defence.

R v Mark Tye [2006] EWCA Crim 112 – death by dangerous driving.

R v George Reynolds [2005] EWCA Crim 35/9 – tax evasion.

Re X A Minor [1985] 1 All ER 53 – first contra mundum injunction.

Re X (Formerly Known as Mary Bell) [2003] 2 FCR 686/2003 EMLR 37 – subsequent case where ongoing immunity granted.

Willis v Derwentside District Council [2013] EWHC 738 (ch), [2013] Env. L.R. 31 – stythe gas leak nuisance.