Craig Hassall QC

Year of call:

1999 · Silk 2021

Education:

1993 - Thomas Sumpter Comprehensive School, Scunthorpe

1995 - John Leggott Sixth Form College, Scunthorpe

1998 - University College, Oxford, BA Jurisprudence (2:1)

1999 - Inns of Court School of Law, BVC (‘very competent’)

Career:

1999 - Pupil at Sovereign Chambers

2000 - Tenant at Sovereign Chambers

2004 - Young Barristers’ Committee of the Bar Council

2006 - Junior of the North Eastern Circuit

2012 - Accredited advocacy trainer

2015 - Sovereign Chambers becomes Park Square Barristers

2015 - Head of the regulatory & public team at Park Square Barristers

2016 - Legally Qualified Chair of Police Misconduct Hearings for the Police & Crime Commissioners of the North Eastern Region

2017 - Vulnerable Witness - Advocacy Training Facilitator

2021 - Silk

Appointments:

2009 - Pupillage supervisor

2012 - Grade 4 Prosecutor and appointed to the Rape Panel List A of the Panel of Specialist Regulatory Advocates

2013 - Panel A of the Prosecution Counsel for the Serious Fraud Office

2015 - Head of regulatory & public team

2019 - Judicial appointment to the First-Tier Tribunal Criminal Recorder appointment

Memberships:

North Eastern Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Health and Safety Lawyers Association

United Kingdom Environmental Law Association

Awards:

1999 - Sweet & Maxwell Prize, Inner Temple

2017 - Certificate of Commendation, Immigration Enforcement

Ranked in Tier 1 for Business and Regulatory Crime (including Health and Safety) – The Legal 500 (2021)

“The consummate professional – calm under pressure with the ability to think quickly on his feet” ” a key name to note” Legal 500 (2021)

“Provides prompt strategic advice ” Legal 500 (2020)

“His practice includes environmental health and food standards matters.” – The Legal 500 2019

“A strong advocate, who acts with intelligence and calm authority”. – The Legal 500 (2017)

“Conscientious and good with clients.” – The Legal 500, (2017)

“He is a safe, and very good, pair of hands.” – The Legal 500 (2015)

“He has excellent people skills”Legal 500 (2014)

Head of the Regulatory and Public Law Team at PSQB, and an A-List Specialist Regulatory Advocate, Craig prosecutes and defends in a wide range of regulatory cases. His regulatory practice includes serious health and safety and healthcare cases, often involving fatalities. He has appeared for both regulators and potential defendants at numerous inquests. His regulatory crime practice also encompasses criminal proceedings brought by a wide range of other regulators in the areas of environmental crime, trading standards, fire safety and food safety. He has a particular interest in cases involving allergen control.

Craig has extensive experience of representing corporate defendants. He can be relied upon to approach a case commercially and with a view to avoiding reputational damage. He is experienced in explaining the commercial reality of corporate accounts to lay and professional tribunals and regularly advises boards of directors in relation to criminal and coronial proceedings.

Craig has represented both regulators and professionals in the disciplinary processes of several different professional bodies and sits as a Legally Qualified Chair in Police Misconduct Hearings.

Craig’s knowledge of cases involving a wide range of prosecuting authorities enables him to bring a unique perspective to cases that transcend more than one area. He has been involved in many large cases with multiple defendants, regularly dealing with sensitive issues of disclosure.

Notable Cases

Health & Safety

  • HSE -v- Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd – Prosecution of the well-known Yorkshire theme park after a child was ejected from a rollercoaster and suffered life-threatening head injuries

Health & Safety: Industrial

  • HSE -v- Nestlé UK Ltd – Prosecution arising from significant injuries to an employee on the After Eights line at Nestlé’s Halifax plant.
  • HSE –v- W E Rawson Ltd – Prosecution under section 2 HSWA74 arising from a fatal incident in which an employee was dragged into a packaging machine and crushed.
  • Re Richardson – Representation at inquest and subsequent criminal defence of a waste management company following a fatal accident at their plant. The deceased walked into the path of a reversing JCB and suffered catastrophic head injuries. Accident reconstruction and traffic management evidence.
  • HSE –v- SIG Trading Ltd – Prosecution of a manufacturing company following partial amputation of an employee’s hand. Employees had deliberately circumvented safety measures introduced to guard the machine.
  • HSE –v- H – Retained pre-charge, and direct access, to advise an employee of a waste management company investigated on suspicion of a section 7 HSWA74 offence following a serious de-gloving injury (QC opponent).
  • HSE –v- Walter Hesslewood Ltd – Prosecution of a family-run waste management company whose employee was killed when a compressed air cylinder was expelled at speed from a waste press. One of the first cases to be sentenced following the implementation of the definitive guideline.
  • HSE –v- Cumbria Design Scaffolding Ltd & Larkin Engineering Services Ltd –Prosecution of two companies after an employee of one company was fatally injured when the other company was contracted to lift a large piece of metalwork. Issues of concurrent liability, liability of directors and delay (QC opponents).
  • HSE –v- Ainscough Crane Hire – Prosecution of a national crane hire company following the collapse of a ladder. The case involved expert metallurgical evidence about the foreseeability of failure due to galvanic corrosion.

Health & Safety: Construction

  • HSE -v- P, W, D & T – Ongoing prosecution of two corporate and two individual defendants following the death of an 18-year-old labourer on a building site in Lincolnshire.
  • HSE –v- Riley James David – Defence of a self-employed builder whose failure to provide adequate edge protection led to a fall from significant height. Non-custodial sentence.
  • HSE –v- Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Ltd – Prosecution of a very large company following a fall from height when the floor of a partially constructed floor collapsed. Withdrawal of unrealistic concessions made by the prosecution at the Magistrates’ Court (QC opponent).
  • HSE –v- East Riding of Yorkshire – defence of a local authority, which itself had health and safety prosecutorial powers, following a fall from height during the repair of local authority housing. The District Judge was persuaded to retain jurisdiction. Consideration of the special treatment of public bodies under the sentencing guideline.

Health & Safety: Agricultural

  • Re Clode – instructed to represent the Health & Safety Executive at the inquest into the death of a grandmother fatally injured by a cow on a public bridleway.
  • HSE –v- P – Representation at inquest and in criminal proceedings of a self-employed farm worker following the death of a landowner killed by a shard of barbed wire expelled from the defendant’s tractor-mounted flail mower. District Judge persuaded to retain jurisdiction despite the fatality.
  • HSE -v- UE. Defence of a landowner following a fatal accident on his sporting estate. An off-road all-terrain vehicle overturned, killing an employee who was collecting birds during a shoot. Magistrates persuaded to retain jurisdiction despite the fatality and the very considerable assets of the estate.

Healthcare

  • Re SL – representation of care company at inquest into service user’s death and in concurrent criminal proceedings brough by the Care Quality Commission.
  • HSE –v- TG – Section 7 HSWA74 prosecution of a senior care worker at a day centre for disabled adults. The profoundly disabled deceased choked to death on a sweet, given to her by the defendant in breach of the care plan.
  • Re NS – representation of domiciliary care company at inquest into a service user’s death. The Coroner made no findings against the company, despite criticisms from other interested persons and excluded the client from the prevention of future deaths report.
  • Re LH – representation of domiciliary care company at inquest into a service user’s death. Complex neurology and endocrinology evidence. The Coroner was persuaded to reject the findings of the pathologist and made exculpatory remarks in relation to the client, despite strident criticisms made by the deceased’s family.
  • HSE –v- Hillcare Ltd – Prosecution of a care home provider following the death by positional asphyxia of a 76-year-old resident who had been left restrained in her wheelchair for several hours.
  • R v Pramanik – Prosecution of a care of the elderly consultant for offences under the Cremation Act 1902
  • R v Cheadle – Prosecution of a Care of the Elderly Consultant, under the Cremation Act 1902 and the Fraud Act 2006 for fraudulent completion of death certification forms.
  • Speke Care Home -v- The Care Quality Commission – Instructed to represent the CQC at a three-day appeal before the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal.
  • CQC –v- B Ltd Instructed by the CQC to advice on the merits of prosecuting a registered provider/manager for a failure to comply with Regulation 12(1) of the Health & Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 resulting in avoidable harm.

Trading Standards

  • WYTS v LA Ltd – defence of a home improvement company prosecuted under consumer protection regulations, in relation to illegal distance selling techniques.
  • NYTS -v- B&M Retail Ltd – prosecution of a multi-billion-pound turnover company for offences under electrical safety regulations. The case arose from the offering for sale of hoverboards which did not comply with EU safety standards.

Food

  • R -v- Mohammed Khalique Zaman – Prosecution junior counsel in the first successful prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter arising from a food allergy, and its subsequent successful defence in the Court of Appeal [2018] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 26
  • East Riding Council –v- Dixfield LLP – Ongoing prosecution of food safety offences following a child suffering a significant anaphylactic reaction at a wedding reception.
  • York City Council -v- The Indian Garden Ltd – Prosecution of food safety offences arising out of inadequate allergen controls.
  • York City Council -v- North Yorkshire County Council – prosecution of one local authority by another arising from inadequate allergen controls at a primary school. The 4-year-old victim was hospitalised by a school meal.

Environmental

  • EA v ST – successful defence of a director in a consent/connivance/neglect prosecution by the EA. The defendant’s business had been taken over by known waste criminals not prosecuted by the EA.
  • EA v BH – prosecution of illegal burning of waste which led to the destruction of the defendant’s own business and neighbouring properties.
  • EA v WP – successful defence of a director in a prosecution based on the consent, connivance and neglect provisions of the EPA1990. The case was discontinued in the face of an abuse of process application.
  • EA v AWSM & Metcalfe – prosecution of a former young farmer of the year for waste management and water pollution offences, leading to significant fish kills.
  • EA v PTSD Ltd & G – defence of a demolition company and its sole director for waste offences. The agency was persuaded to drop the case against the director and the company was ordered to pay an insignificant fine.

Fire Safety

  • South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority -v- Sandhu – prosecution of a hotelier under several articles of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order. The defendant was sentenced to immediate imprisonment, leading to unique Court of Appeal authority in relation to sentencing in this type of case: [2017] EWCA Crim 908 (QC opponent).
  • SYFRA -v- Monckton Coke & Chemical Co Ltd – prosecution of a waste processing facility following a significant explosion. The case is referred to by commentators as involving one of the twenty most significant fines ever imposed for fire safety breaches.
  • West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority -v- P, B & H. Prosecution under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order of landlord, caretaker and alarm technician following significant fire at a house in multiple occupation.
  • Granary Pub Company Ltd –v- West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority – Successful response to appeal against sentence following an incident in which a “smokeless fire” exploded sending a fireball across the ceiling of a public house, setting fire to customers’ clothing.

Public Access

Craig Hassall QC is qualified to accept Public Access work, where he can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.

Contact Craig’s clerks

Madeleine Gray on 0113 202 8603

Patrick Urbina on 0113 213 5250

Ranked in The Legal 500 (2021) for Crime.

“The consummate professional – calm under pressure with the ability to think quickly on his feet.” – The Legal 500 (2021)

“Specialises in serious fraud cases.” – The Legal 500 (2020)

“Noted for his expertise in fraud cases.” – The Legal 500 (2019)

“A strong advocate, who acts with intelligence and calm authority.” – The Legal 500, 2017

“Conscientious and good with clients.” – The Legal 500, 2017

During his 22 years as junior counsel, Craig’s criminal practice covered a vast range of work: from road traffic offending through sexual offences, serious and organised crime, violence including homicide, fraud and complex regulatory offences.

In recent years, his practice has included murder, manslaughter, rape and serious sexual assaults, people trafficking and large-scale smuggling of drugs and dutiable goods. He sits as a fee-paid judge in the Mental Health Tribunal and has significant experience of dealing with cases involving mental disorder, experienced by defendants or witnesses.

He has become well-known for his ability to prosecute and defence in highly complex cases. His depth and breadth of experience of cases involving a wide range of prosecuting authorities enables him to bring a unique perspective to cases that transcend more than one area. He has been involved in many large cases with multiple defendants. He has often dealt with sensitive issues of disclosure and public-interest immunity, including covert human intelligence sources, intercept material and offenders with links to terrorism.

He has extensive experience in all areas of financial offending, including applications for restraint, confiscation, compensation, appointment of receivers and disqualification of directors. Many of his cases have involved corporate defendants and the interpretation of corporate accounts.

Craig’s sympathetic approach towards clients has repeatedly been identified by legal directories. He can be relied upon to deal sensitively with clients accused of the most serious offences.

Alongside his advocacy and advisory work, Craig is the North Eastern Circuit’s Advocacy Training Officer. He is an accredited advocacy trainer and a facilitator of vulnerable witness advocacy training.

Notable cases

Homicide & Serious Violence

  • R v Dearlove – Junior counsel to Richard Wright QC in a prosecution for murder 49 years after the death of the victim. The defendant was convicted of murder in relation to the death of his baby stepson on Teesside in 1968. He had evaded prosecution in the 1960s by suggesting that the child had sustained the fatal head injury by falling out of bed. The trial involved calling contested expert evidence in the fields of paediatrics, paediatric neurosurgery and paediatric neuropathology.
  • R v Zaman (Operation Hoe) – prosecution junior counsel in the first successful prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter arising from a food allergy, and its subsequent successful defence in the Court of Appeal [2018] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 26.
  • R v Azad, Thapar & Hussain – prosecution junior counsel in an attempted murder by arson. The principal defendant was sentenced to 32 years imprisonment.
  • R v F – junior counsel in a murder prosecution, following the stabbing of the victim by his partner’s sister. Craig successfully defended (alone) an appeal against conviction based on fresh evidence.
  • R v D & S – junior counsel in a Boxing Day murder by stabbing.
  • R v M – “baby shaking” case with numerous expert medical witnesses.
  • R v H – defence of a father accused of failing to protect his child, contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. Significant factual findings had been made against the client in family proceedings and the child had been removed from his care. After Craig’s consideration of the expert paediatric neurology evidence and negotiation with the Crown, no evidence was offered against Craig’s client.

Fraud

  • R v D (Operation Dulcie) – Ongoing fraud prosecution following concurrent investigations by Greater Manchester Police and NHS Protect. The Defendant accountant and finance director defrauded three NHS trusts and several private companies. Complex accounting evidence and issues surrounding calculation of losses.
  • R v Goulbourne & Others (Operation Accordion) – Junior counsel to Guy Gozem QC in a six-defendant mortgage fraud case. The case involved expert conveyancing evidence, extradition and complex issues in relation to calculation of loss. Craig conducted part of the trial alone (including cross examination of the principal defendant and the prosecution closing speech) against three Queens Counsel, Treasury Counsel and six juniors.
  • R v SN (Operation Lollipop) – defence counsel for the second of fifteen defendants in a “cash-for-crash” conspiracy to defraud motor insurance companies, through the staging of multiple fake accidents, one involving a bus, the driver of which was complicit in the fraud.
  • Operation Wizardry – Leading junior counsel for the prosecution in a five-defendant (including two former police officers), £11million tobacco-smuggling conspiracy, which the Court of Appeal described as “one of the most serious examples of its type”.
  • R v Rathod & Others (Operation Apple) – Leading junior counsel for the prosecution in a four-defendant immigration fraud operated through two fake Sikh Gurdwara. The defendants had facilitated the entry into the country of hundreds of immigrants by falsely claiming they were religious workers in the temples.
  • R v Ishaq (Operation Earthworm) – Prosecution of a former mayor of Scunthorpe for fraud and perverting the course of justice. Confiscation proceedings are ongoing.
  • R v Moon & Others (Operation Landlord) – Leading junior counsel in a ten-defendant tobacco duty fraud. The trial involved contested fingerprint, DNA and cellsite evidence.
  • R v W – defence counsel for client accused of stealing almost £1 million from Asda. The case involved complex issues in relation to the proof of Asda’s losses, the legality of the prosecution’s calculation of alleged losses and protracted confiscation proceedings.
  • R v Wood & Others (Operation Paste) – Leading junior counsel in a nine-defendant prosecution of fraud against the NHS. The defendants, including a senior NHS manager had defrauded the NHS of £3.5 million through the awarding of overpriced contracts for management training in contravention of NHS procurement rules.
  • R v D (Operation Filtermill) – Prosecution of an independent financial advisor who claimed inflated commission by “churning” his clients pension investments from fund to fund. Confiscation proceedings continue.

Proceeds of Crime (in addition to the above)

  • Operation Y – advising the prosecuting authorities in relation to pre-charge restraint in a multi-million-pound pensions fraud investigation.
  • Re a firm – advising an LLP in relation to confiscation proceedings following the conviction of a former partner of the firm for fraud and money laundering. The prosecution and Court threatened contempt proceedings in relation to disputed funds in the possession of the firm. Craig provided advice and drafted a skeleton argument, upon which the prosecution discontinued all action against the client.

Sexual Offences

  • R v M – successful defence of a gay man charged with the sexual assault of a man who was alleged to have been asleep. The defendant had a previous conviction for a similar assault against another unconscious male. Acquitted at trial.
  • R v JH – successful defence of a stepfather charged with the attempted rape of his seven-year-old stepdaughter. Craig challenged the disclosure process and identified items that could be shown to be in the possession of the police, the existence of which had not been disclosed. Following legal argument, no evidence was offered.
  • R v BR – successful defence of a former police officer with previous convictions for indecent assault. The client was charged with sexual offences against two young female family members. Charges relating to one complainant were stayed as an abuse of the process of the Court following Craig’s application based on disclosure failures. The client was acquitted of all other charges at trial.
  • R v MP – successful defence of a man charged with non-recent rape and serious sexual assaults against two sisters who were the daughters of a former girlfriend. The case involved complex issues of law including jurisdiction, hearsay and character. The complainants’ mother, against whom they also made allegations, was interviewed when suffering from advanced motor-neurone disease and had subsequently died and the evidence was unclear as to whether some of the alleged offences had been committed in Scotland. The client was acquitted of all charges.

Miscellaneous

  • R v AN – defence counsel in a five-defendant people trafficking case. Craig made numerous applications for disclosure and ultimately for a stay based on the prosecution’s chaotic approach to disclosure. The trial judged rejected the applications but after seven weeks of trial the prosecution itself applied to discharge the jury on the basis of the disclosure failings.
  • R v DD – defence of a juror, prosecuted for contempt of Court who contacted a convicted defendant and disclosed the content of jury deliberations. Craig appeared before the Lord Chief Justice, prosecuted by the Solicitor General. His client received a suspended sentence and on the basis of his submissions the LCJ directed a national review by HM Courts Service into the information routinely provided to jurors.

Public Access

Craig Hassall QC is qualified to accept Public Access work, where he can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor. 

Contact Craig’s clerks

Andrew Thornton on 0113 213 5202

Gina Hawkins on 0113 213 5205

Rebecca Wilson on 0113 213 5203

Hannah Dempsey on 0113 213 5211

Elaine Foster-Morgan on 0113 213 5217

Robyn Nichol on 0113 213 5253

 

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