Christopher Coltart KC

Christopher Coltart KC

“Christopher is able to digest the most complex of cases and present them with effortless grace.”

Chambers UK 2024 (Band 1, Financial Crime)
Year of call: 1998 KC: 2014
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Christopher’s background was originally in commercial property litigation. During that time, he had an extensive portfolio of cases, representing banks, pension funds and other financial institutions in a variety of high value claims. For the last 25 years, he has specialised in business crime, professional disciplinary cases and sports law. He is recommended by the legal directories in relation to all of these practice areas. He is also Head of 2 Hare Court’s Business Crime & Financial Services Group and is a Sports Arbitrator with Sport Resolutions Limited.

Recent cases include representing:

  • The UK subsidiary of an overseas listed company in relation to potential breaches of its Anti Money Laundering obligations
  • The owner and FD of a high profile UK business in relation to allegations of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering
  • An interested party in relation to the Axiom Ince scandal currently under investigation by the SRA
  • The former FD of Redcentric plc in relation to charges of false accounting, misleading the company’s auditors and making misleading statements to the market
  • Clients before the Financial Reporting Council in cases involving Tesco, Sports Direct, Serco and Carillion
  • The former Chief Executive of Sports Direct in relation to criminal charges arising under s.194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992
  • A UK company in the on-going worldwide investigation into Cum Ex trading
  • Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the centre of the Facebook data sharing row
  • Individuals in the SFO investigations into Barclays Bank and Rolls Royce
  • A major airline in relation to compliance with Covid travel regulations
  • A high net worth individual in relation to an FCA insider dealing investigation
  • The Football Association in proceedings brought against Joey Barton and Daniel Sturridge
  • The MCC in relation to events at Lords during the Ashes Test Match in 2023
  • The directors of various high profile companies for failing to file accounts on time, contrary to ss.441 and 451 of the Companies Act 2006

As a junior, Christopher also had a significant prosecution practice and was on the ‘A’ Panel of selected advocates for the Serious Fraud Office.  He now undertakes private prosecution work and is a member of the 2 Hare Court dedicated private prosecution team.  Recently, he has prosecuted a significant fraud on behalf of a UK based hedge fund, and separately advised a major airline in relation to a possible private prosecution.  He is presently defending in a private prosecution arising out of a contested will.  He is one of only a handful of silks recommended for this area of work in Chambers UK.

In addition, Christopher has significant experience of major inquest work.  His instructions in this regard include representing clients in the 7/7 London bombing inquest, and also the inquest into the Hillsborough tragedy.

Christopher accepts Direct Access instructions.

Other recent instructions – Business and White Collar Crime

  • Advising a law firm in the Turks & Caicos Islands in relation to its AML obligations
  • Representing a company director accused of fraudulently evading VAT
  • Advising a set of tax chambers in relation to their anti-money laundering policies and procedures.
  • Representing a company director in an SFO investigation into allegations of bribery, corruption and money laundering in overseas mining contracts.
  • Advising a claimant in defamation proceedings about the money laundering aspects of his case.
  • Advising a UK bank on the conduct of an internal investigation into possible criminal offending.
  • Advising an AIM listed company on the settlement of a dispute concerning the misappropriation of £4m from the company.
  • Advising a partner from one of the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms on allegations of corruption and bribery.
  • Advising a firm of solicitors in relation to a possible money laundering investigation.
  • Advising a firm of US lawyers on an application for Mutual Legal Assistance arising out of the LIBOR litigation.
  • Advising a firm of forensic accountants in relation to an order compelling them to produce client documentation.
  • Representing a Police & Crime Commissioner in relation to an allegation of electoral fraud.
  • Representing a firm of loss adjusters on charges brought under s.55 Data Protection Act – 1998.
  • Advising on the legality of search warrants in a major criminal investigation.
  • Acting for a company director accused of failing to file accounts, contrary to ss.441 and 451 of the Companies Act 2006.
  • A company director in contempt of court proceedings in the High Court.
  • D&O insurers in relation to claims triggered by SFO investigations.
  • The directors of an international business, accused of failing to file its UK accounts on time.

 Other recent instructions – Regulatory cases

  • Advising a major UK plc on a current investigation by the FRC
  • Representing the former Financial Director of a listed company in proceedings brought against him by the FRC
  • Representing the FRC in proceedings brought against the former CEO and FD of a listed company
  • Representing a company director in disciplinary proceedings before the Takeover Panel
  • Advising the FA on an investigation into issues at a Premier League club
  • Representing a solicitor in proceedings brought against him at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Representing the FA in proceedings against Leeds United Football Club and its chairman, Massimo Cellino

Recent instructions – Inquests and Health & Safety

  • Advising one of the witnesses in the inquest into the Hillsborough tragedy
  • Representing the same individual in the subsequent criminal investigation
  • Representing a construction company in an inquest into a fatal accident at work
  • Representing one of the interested parties in the inquest into the death of Zane Gbangbola

What others say:

“He knows everything about everything and is a brilliant prosecutor.” and “He is fabulously persuasive: he has a calmness and reasonableness that gives his advocacy persuasive force.” Chambers UK 2024 (Financial Crime)

“A very persuasive advocate who has the measure of the courtroom. He is incredibly thorough in terms of his preparation and detailed in his written submissions, which have been material in changing the course of the case.” and “Extremely knowledgeable, approachable, and incredibly down to earth. He runs a case effectively and ensures everyone on the case really grasps it, and he gets into the nitty-gritty. He gets to the heart of the issues and his manner with the client is second to none. Robust and extremely humane.” and “Single-handedly wins my cases. Thorough and always available, Christopher is a real go-to.” – Chambers UK 2024 (Professional Discipline)

“A silk with great tactical acumen.” – Legal 500 UK 2024 (Professional Discipline)

“Christopher is a go-to barrister for complex factual cases or anything with a technological dimension. He is extremely quick to master matters of the utmost complexity.” – Chambers UK 2023

“Chris is one of the few lawyers at the Bar able to straddle the corporate, regulatory, civil and criminal aspects of a case. He is extremely bright, pragmatic, commercial, technical and thorough. He is a delight to work with.” – Legal 500 UK 2024 (Financial Crime)

“He is technically brilliant, works extremely well in a team, has a great manner with clients and is excellent on his feet.” and “He is unbelievably good.” – Chambers UK 2022

“Chris is extremely easy to work with. He works hand in glove with his solicitors, is very approachable and a joy to work with. His attention to detail is unrivalled and his preparation for trial is exemplary. He cuts through the complexity of cases and can identify potentially winning points in even the most difficult cases.” – Legal 500 UK 2022

“Dogged, determined, on top of detail, committed and hard working.” – Legal 500 UK 2022

“An exceptional regulatory defence lawyer who is commercial and proactive; outstanding case preparation.” – Legal 500 UK 2022

“A phenomenal advocate who can get to grips with the technical facts quickly and with great ease.” – Chambers UK 2021

“He is really good – methodical, calm and fantastic in court.” – Chambers UK 2021

“An engaging advocate with a devastating eye for detail. His approach to cases is to leave no stone unturned and he carries the confidence of clients from the very first meeting. A man you would definitely want in your corner.” – Legal 500 UK 2021

“A formidable barrister at ease in the commercial world and great with clients.” and “Strong in disciplinary matters.” – Legal 500 UK 2021

“A superb intellect who gets results.” – Chambers UK 2019

“A high-quality silk who has great client handling skills.” – Legal 500 2020

“A very good lawyer and highly regarded. He is very popular among City executive clients.” – Chambers UK 2020

“A criminal silk of the highest order who is meticulous in preparation.” – Chambers UK 2019

“Fiendishly bright with a calm and considered manner. He is able to absorb substantial information and give clear, concise advice.” – Chambers UK 2018

“One of the best silks out there for financial crime. He has a City background and is a very calm advocate. Judges think he is fantastic, and his written work is excellent” – Chambers UK 2018

“He is terrific, because he’s very calm and, having worked in the City, he has a good grasp of the system. He’s very responsive, extremely clever and easy to work with.” – Chambers UK 2017

“His forensic approach to defence preparation puts him ahead of his peers.” – Legal 500 2017

“A masterful drafter who is very approachable.” – Chambers UK 2016

“He is incredibly organised and accessible. He is very engaged throughout the process, good with clients and trusted by everyone.” – Chambers UK 2015

“A cerebral and talented advocate.” – Legal 500 2015

“His advocacy and drafting are fantastic and he instils complete confidence in any client.” – Chambers UK 2014

“He has an impressive track record of handling white-collar and fraud defence work. Solicitors admire his flawless preparation and ability to handle sensitive cases.” – Chambers UK 2014

“One of the ablest barristers in practice.” – Legal 500 2013

“Very thorough and approachable…excellent in terms of his ability.” – Chambers UK 2012

“Highly intelligent, clear, calm and able.” – Legal 500 2011

“One of the brightest barristers at the criminal Bar.” – Legal 500 2010

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