Barrister Christopher Canning

Christopher Canning

Year of call: 2014  

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“He came recommended and he was dedicated to my case – I was glad he was on my side.”

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Overview


Christopher is a mixed civil and criminal practitioner. He has been a tenant at 7BR since 2015 when he completed a multi-disciplinary pupillage. Christopher appears at all levels in the fields of clinical negligence, commercial, employment, public, fraud and general criminal law.

Recognised in the civil sphere for his quick grasp of complex legal issues and concise written submissions, Christopher brings those qualities to his criminal practice, together with forensic cross-examination and unruffled advocacy for the most difficult cases. He subscribes to the ethos of 7BR, which promotes a diverse practice among its junior tenants. In his first year as a tenant he appeared in both civil and criminal divisions of the Court of Appeal.

Before he studied law and came to the Bar, Christopher was a teacher of History and Politics at one of England’s leading schools. Prior to that he took a First in History at Keble College, Oxford.

Scholarships & Prizes

  • Gray’s Inn scholar: David Karmel Award (2012); Lord Justice Holker Award (2013)
  • Oxford University Press mooting competition winner (2013)
  • Manchester Law School: Dean’s Award for outstanding performance (2014)
  • Represented Gray’s Inn at the Inn’s biannual mooting and debating tour of the United States (2015)

Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

Education

  • BA Modern History (First Class): Keble College, Oxford, 2010
  • Graduate Diploma in law (Distinction – top of the year): Manchester Law School, 2013
  • Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding – top of the year): Manchester Law School, 2014
Clinical Negligence Commercial Crime Employment Personal Injury Offshore & International Complex Fraud

Clinical Negligence


Christopher is instructed for both sides in clinical negligence disputes, but with an emphasis on claimant work.

In addition to being instructed to argue interim applications, and to appear at case management conferences, Christopher is experienced in pleading claims and advising on paper or in conference on liability and quantum.

His recent work includes:

  • Advising on causes of action when a hospital failed to comply with a patient’s advance directive to refuse life-saving treatment;
  • Advising on liability and quantum where women suffered injuries during childbirth;
  • Pleading cases arising out of mistakes in labelling patients’ samples, GPs’ failures to refer patients to consultant specialists, and failures of clinicians to obtain appropriate consent.

In appropriate cases Christopher accepts instructions on a CFA basis.

Commercial


Christopher has a broad commercial practice. He appears in county courts and the High Court. He advises on the merits and quantum of claims on behalf of both individuals and corporate clients.

In his general commercial work, recent instructions include pleading a claim for breach of contractual warranties, failures to pay service charges, and advice on the merits of a claim under the Commercial Agents Regulations 1993. He has a particular interest in the operation of the unfair clauses regime in English law and he has lectured on this topic.

In some of his court work, Christopher acts for defendants in actions against bailiffs and local authorities. He appears at applications for urgent interim injunctions, applications for strike-out and summary judgment, directions hearings, and fast-track trials. These claims frequently allege that bailiff companies and/or local authorities do not have good title to goods taken into control, that the goods have been converted, and/or that there has been some regulatory breach. Christopher has successful experience of countering these claims, running fraud defences, and obtaining costs orders.

Crime


Christopher’s practice encompasses both prosecution and defence work on the south-eastern and midland circuits. He is a Grade 2 CPS advocate. His work is exclusively in the Crown Court, save that he appears privately for defendants in the Magistrates’ Court to contest driving matters.

He appears in his own right and as a led junior. He is currently instructed as a junior to prosecute one of the largest cases ever investigated by Lincolnshire Police. When acting alone he prosecutes and defends the full range of violent offences, drugs offences, and offences of dishonesty.

In addition to his general criminal work, Christopher advises offshore entities on their compliance with anti-money laundering and other quasi-criminal legislation.

Recent instructions include:

  • Securing a conviction in the prosecution of a third-strike domestic burglar in which previous counsel had advised that the case should be discontinued;
  • Prosecuting multi-handed robberies and assaults;
    Securing the acquittal of a police officer charged with a domestic violence offence;
  • Successfully arguing that sleep apnoea constituted a defence to careless driving.

Employment


Christopher appears in the Employment Tribunal for claimants and respondents but with an emphasis on respondent work. He has experience of cases involving all varieties of employment torts. Recent instructions include:

  • Responding to a claim of unfair dismissal in which the claimant had made an ill-judged remark to a European colleague in the wake of the Brexit vote;
  • Contesting a claim for unlawful deductions from wages on behalf of a charity;
  • Representing the claimant in a case alleging discrimination and victimisation arising out of a culture of radicalised language in the office;
  • Obtaining a costs order against a claimant who had been warned in writing that his claim for victimisation was without merit.

Personal Injury


Christopher is instructed in a broad range of personal injury matters. He acts for both claimants and defendants in claims actions for negligence, trespass against the person, and breach of statutory duty. He is regularly instructed to appear at case management conferences and at trials. He is available to draft statements of case and advise on the merits and quantum of claims at all levels.

Much of Christopher’s work in this area consists of appearing as advocate at fast-track trials. He represents both parties at claims for personal injuries arising out of road traffic accidents, and accidents at work or on the highway. He has successfully represented claimants confronted with allegations of fraud.

 

Offshore & International


Christopher acts for advisory firms in Jersey. He advises on anti-money laundering and other compliance problems. He was recently instructed in a commercially sensitive matter to analyse an offshore financial institution’s record of dealing with a politically exposed person. He has also advised offshore entities on their duties when they suspect they are in receipt of monies obtained by fraudulent conduct.

Complex Fraud


Christopher has a growing practice in complex fraud work, both within this jurisdiction and in Jersey. His mixed practice allows him to advise civil clients on their potential criminal liability and victims of criminal fraud on how to approach recovery proceedings in the civil courts.

He is currently instructed as junior counsel to prosecute allegations of fraud against an organised criminal group in the East Midlands. He has advised offshore entities on their duties when they suspect they are in receipt of monies obtained by fraudulent conduct.

In the civil jurisdiction, Christopher has resisted defences of fraud when acting for claimants in commercial disputes, and advised clients considering bringing contractual claims for rescission based on fraudulent misrepresentation.

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