Christopher Coltart QC

Christopher Coltart QC

"A phenomenal advocate who can get to grips with the technical facts quickly and with great ease."

Chambers UK 2021
Year of call: 1998 QC: 2014
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Private Prosecution

Christopher has a wealth of prosecution experience.  Prior to taking silk in 2014, he frequently undertook prosecution work on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, appearing in a wide range of cases from murders to drugs importations to high value, complex frauds.  He was a Grade 4 prosecutor for the CPS (i.e. the top level) and also on the SFO’s ‘A’ Panel for Fraud and Confiscation.  He is therefore extremely well placed to undertake private prosecutions and is at the forefront of this growth area.  He is a member of the Private Prosecutors’ Association.

Recent notable cases:

Re X plc

Advising a major international airline (X plc) on the merits of a possible private prosecution.  Due to client confidentiality it is not possible to give further details of the issues under consideration, save to say that they were technical and legally complex.

[Y] Ltd v SA

Acting for the private prosecutor in this case, which was a UK based hedge fund (Y Ltd)..  SA had been the  Office Manager at Y ltd for some 30 years.  Over the course of a nine year period, she had stolen nearly £3m from the business, primarily by ordering foreign currency and then manipulating  electronic records of in order to cover it up.  Y Ltd brought a private prosecution.  Christopher advised on that prosecution from its inception and represented the company through both the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court proceedings.  Mrs Anderson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 4.5 years’ imprisonment.

Wollenberg v Global Gaming Ventures plc & Others

Anthony Wollenberg was the owner of a casino in Leeds which had failed to keep up with repayments on a loan from a US based hedge fund.  The fund had therefore appointed receivers and eventually the casino was sold by the receivers back to the fund for £1.  Mr Wollenberg began a private prosecution of both the fund and the receivers, claiming that they had engaged in a conspiracy to steal the casino from him.  Christopher acted for the company which employed the receivers (Z Ltd), which was served with a witness summons by Mr Wollenberg for the disclosure of significant volumes of confidential documentation.  The full extent of that summons was contested and the case gave rise also to complex issues of legal professional privilege.

X v Y

Advising X (a Russian oligarch) who is engaged in civil litigation in this country with Y (another Russian oligarch) over a commercial dispute.  X wanted advice on the merits of a private prosecution arising out of an aspect of the civil proceedings.

Philcox v A & B

Acting for the respondents, who were directors of a company providing bailiff services to the court system.  The claimant was pursuing a vendetta against them after his daughter had been dismissed from the company for gross misconduct.  The claimant had started two private prosecutions against A & B already (one for misconduct in public office and the other for offences under s.167 Companies Act 2006) and was threatening further criminal proceedings.  The respondents wanted to prevent him from going ahead with these further cases, and also to halt civil proceedings which he had  brought against them.  In the end, an Extended Civil Restraint Order was obtained against the claimant in the High Court.  The private prosecutions were discontinued.

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