Profile

A specialist in complicated legal challenges and commercial disputes. Christopher is Called to the Bars of England & Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Christopher’s specialisms lie primarily in the field of public and administrative law; although his practice also encompasses commercial and professional negligence litigation and advices. Christopher’s practice regularly involves complicated matters concerning commercial disputes; insurance law; human rights law; procurement law; data protection; cross-border information sharing; criminal record disclosure; education law; immigration; and EU law; and discrimination or wrongful acts arising from legislation, Government policies or the criminal justice system. Frequently Christopher is instructed to advise both companies and shareholders on various aspects of corporate governance, and often cases are re-directed to him after they have gone awry elsewhere.

Christopher has appeared as sole Counsel in every tier of Court, including the Court of Appeal, and he has acted as Junior Counsel in several matters before the Supreme Court.

In addition to his practice at the Bar, in 2008 Christopher was tasked by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and Ulster University to create a new institution in Northern Ireland for the training of Solicitors, which became known as the Graduate School for Professional Legal Education. Whilst maintaining his full-time practice at the Bar, Christopher was a lecturer in legal practice for litigation and advocacy for the Graduate School, until being asked to become its Director in 2015 to oversee the eventual closure of the course in July 2016.

Due to his practical experience at the Bar in conjunction with lecturing and the development of professional legal training courses, from 2015 Christopher has provided regular CPD courses to local members of the profession through MBL (Seminars) Ltd, covering various aspects of civil procedure such as judicial review, procurement law and injunctive law.

From July 2017 Christopher has embarked upon the provision of assistance in education/academic appeals, OIA complaints and challenges, for students and trainees at various stages of their academic and professional careers. This is built upon his wealth of experience not just at the Bar but within university institutions.

Examples of key cases in which Christopher was instructed as sole Counsel are:
• Gallagher v Department of Justice ¬– challenge to the legislative regime for the disclosure of criminal record information due to its infringement of the Right to Privacy;
• Laverty v Police Service & PAT ¬– challenge to the use of information unlawfully supplied by the police force of another State in light of the provisions of the Data Protection Act and EU Directives, and the Right to Privacy;
• KWCL v Gable Insurance & Ors (Nos.1 & 2) – cases arising from third-party fraud and the failure of an Insurer based in an EEA State and its Agents to honour the terms of Performance and Guarantee Bonds for significant construction projects;
• Moyola Building Services Ltd v Belfast City Council ¬– successful challenge to procurement procedures for significant renovation works in local hospitals;
• Precision Industrial Services Ltd v JTI Gallahers Ltd – commercial dispute arising from the announced closure of various sites of operation which would result in the early termination of valuable services contracts;
• Balogun v Secretary of State for the home Department ¬– challenge to the lawfulness of the immigration rules and EU legislation due to their failure to provide for EU citizens who have been unable to work since birth due to permanent incapacitating disability;
• Nash v Probation Board – challenge to the failure and refusal by Probation to conduct risk assessments on prisoners convicted of terrorist offence who have been given public protection sentences;
• Moore (Deceased) v WHSCT – medical negligence action arising from failure to diagnose an illness until it had become terminal with the resultant curtailment of life.

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