Tel: 0191 232 1927
Christopher is recognised for his wide level of criminal advocacy experience and is regularly instructed in serious cases such as homicide 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 also instructed by the prosecution and defence 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
He is experienced in dealing with high profile clients including senior business figures, television personalities, premiership football players and other sporting personalities.
Christopher is also instructed in civil and common law matters – he is always interested in the unusual and challenging, ranging from personal injury, clinical negligence and contentious probate to 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.
He is also 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.
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.
R v L  – successful defence of allegations of rape by a police officer.
R v G  – successful defence of allegations of marital rape.
R v Hughes (Appellant)  UKSC56 – successful appeal by driver charged with causing death by driving whilst unlicensed and without insurance.
CPS v Moulden  1 WLR 1173 – Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
R v Ruddick  1 CAR (S)7 - Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
R v Blackburn  EWCA Crim 2290 – leading informant discount/plea bargaining case.
R v Love EWCA – death by dangerous driving.
R v Allsopp  EWCA Crim 703 – one of the earliest reported RIPA cases, involving covert surveillance and interception of telephone communications.
R v Dodds  1 CRApp R3 – contempt of court, reluctant juror case.
R v Offen  1 All ER 253 – Human Rights.
AG's Ref (No.95 of 2009) (Blight) EWCA Crim 353 -sentencing and knife crime.
R v Mark Phillips  EWCA 2830 – sleepwalking defence.
R v Mark Tye  EWCA Crim 112 – death by dangerous driving.
R v George Reynolds  EWCA Crim 35/9 – tax evasion.
Re X A Minor  1 All ER 53 – first contra mundum injunction.
Re X (Formerly Known as Mary Bell)  2 FCR 686/2003 EMLR 37 – subsequent case where ongoing immunity granted.
Willis v Derwentside District Council  EWHC 738 (ch),  Env. L.R. 31 – stythe gas leak nuisance.
"He's exceptionally able and in demand." Crime, Chambers UK 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 UK 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 UK 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 UK 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 UK 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 UK 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 UK 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 UK 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 UK 2014
"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 UK 2014
"provides ‘superb client care’ in financial remedy cases" Legal 500 2013
"a leading junior who is considered a surprising omission from the silks list by QCs. His work has recently included successful actions under the Proceeds of Crime Act." Crime, Chambers UK 2013
"a noted expert in high-value provision cases. Commentators praise his powerful advocacy and considerable experience in the field." Family, Chambers UK 2013
"recommended". Legal 500 2012
"has a varied practice that includes family and regulatory matters, as well as serious crime cases. He prosecuted R v Borg and Blackwell, an affray case connected with a later shooting." Crime, Chambers UK 2012
"...wins particular praise for his skilful cross-examination. Sources also comment that he is "good with accounts and finances and takes a no-nonsense approach." He concentrates on high-value financial provision disputes..." Family, Chambers UK 2012
"impresses with his ‘quality of preparation’". Legal 500 2011
"a byword for reliability."
"brings his expertise to bear on matrimonial finance issues involving non-disclosure and complex children matters. Sources say: "He is a formidable force in the marketplace" and add that "his cross-examination is superb." Chambers UK 2011
"shows no favour to the opposition - the client's interests are paramount." Legal 500 2010
"handles some very heavyweight crime." Chambers UK 2010
"a lateral thinker who is adept at coming up with creative solutions." He is "a fighter who is especially good on the figures side." Chambers UK 2010
“has the strength to stand up to the most experienced and difficult judges”. Legal 500 2009
Instructing solicitors appreciate the “depth of knowledge and approachability” of Christopher Knox saying he is “someone to lean on in a crisis”. Chambers UK 2009
“the one you want batting for you” because “he doesn’t let his opponents have an easy time”. Thoroughly tenacious, “he is also admired for being “creative and forever coming up with innovative ideas.” Chambers UK 2009
a senior junior with “an enquiring mind and a freshness of spirit that puts many of his younger counterparts to shame.” Chambers UK 2008
“Praised for his “great communication skills and reliability,” he is “a robust advocate with an eye for detail” who does particularly well when it comes to cases involving marital assets tied up in businesses". Chambers UK 2008
“ ‘silk quality, an impressive operator’ in financial provision.” Legal 500 2008
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.
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.