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Craig Hassall

Year of call:
1999
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
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 Regulatory, Health and Safety, and Licensing – The Legal 500 (2019)

“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 appears for the prosecution or defence in a wide range of regulatory cases. His regulatory practice includes serious health and safety cases, often involving fatalities and substantial environmental crime cases. He has significant experience of fire safety and food safety cases, with a particular interest in allergens.

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. He also regularly appears in Coroners’ Courts.

He is well-known for his ability to conduct highly complex cases and is often retained to appear against Queens Counsel. 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.

Craig works well as part of a team of counsel as both led and leading junior. He has been involved in many large cases with multiple defendants. He regularly deals with sensitive issues of disclosure and public-interest immunity, including covert human intelligence sources, intercept material and offenders with links to terrorism.

Craig’s criminal practice predominantly involves fraud and other serious and organised crime. He has extensive experience in all areas of financial offending including fraud, money laundering, false accounting and insolvency offences. He is experienced in applications for confiscation, compensation and the disqualification of directors. Many of his cases involve corporate defendants and the interpretation of corporate accounts.

Notable Cases

Health & Safety: Industrial

  • HSE –v- Impact Fork Trucks Ltd – Ongoing prosecution following life-changing injuries suffered by an engineer whose head was crushed between the masts of two forklift trucks.
  • HSE –v- H – Retained pre-charge to advise an employee of a waste management company investigated on suspicion of a section 7 HSWA74 offence following a serious de-gloving injury.
  • 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 in the impending criminal prosecution of a waste management company following a fatal accident at their plant. The deceased walked into the path of a reversing JCB which caused him catastrophic head injuries. Accident reconstruction evidence and alleged failures in traffic management.
  • HSE –v- SIG Trading Ltd – Ongoing prosecution of a manufacturing company following partial amputation of an employee’s hand. Employees had deliberately circumvented safety measures introduced to guard the machine (Instructed by HSE LAO) (QC opponent).
  • HSE –v- R Plevin and Sons Ltd – Prosecution of a transport company whose employee had suffered a fatal fall from height whilst operating a walking floor trailer. The case involved expert evidence of relevant industry standards and the reasonable practicability or otherwise of safety measures (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 very high speed from a waste press. This was 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 – Ongoing 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 (Instructed by HSE LAO) (QC opponents).
  • HSE –v- Suez Recycling and Recovery Tees Valley Ltd – Prosecution of an energy-from-waste facility. An employee suffered significant burns when steam and ash was ejected through the inspection hatch of a furnace (QC opponent).
  • 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- 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. Prosecution had to withdraw unrealistic concessions made at the Magistrates’ Court (Instructed by HSE LAO) (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

  • HSE –v- Pickett – Representation at inquest and in criminal proceedings of a self-employed farm worker following a fatal accident in which a landowner was killed by a shard of barbed wire expelled from the defendant’s tractor-mounted flail mower. The District Judge was persuaded to retain jurisdiction despite the fatality.
  • HSE -v- J REEVES T/A URRA ESTATE. 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. The Magistrates were persuaded to retain jurisdiction despite the fatality and the very considerable assets of the estate.

Healthcare

  • HSE –v- GILBOY Tracey – 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.
  • 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 – Ongoing 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.
  • Re Nicola Smith – representation of domiciliary care company at inquest into 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 Leonard Higgins – representation of domiciliary care company at inquest into 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.
  • Chudary (Speke Care Home Residential) -v- The Care Quality Commission – Instructed to represent the CQC at a three-day appeal before the Health, Education and Social Care Chambers of the First-Tier Tribunal.
  • CQC –v- BUPA Care Homes 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 – Ongoing prosecution of food safety offences arising out of inadequate allergen controls.

Environmental

  • 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. Ongoing 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 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 Tier 1 for Crime – The Legal 500 (2019)

“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

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

“an extremely high-quality fraud counsel” – The Legal 500, 2015

Craig’s criminal practice predominantly involves fraud and other serious and organised crime. He has extensive experience in all areas of financial offending, including applications for restraint, confiscation, compensation and the disqualification of directors. Many of his cases involve corporate defendants and the interpretation of corporate accounts.

Beyond financial crime, his practice includes murder, manslaughter, rape and serious sexual assaults, people trafficking and large-scale smuggling of drugs and dutiable goods. He is well-known for his ability to conduct highly complex cases, and is often retained to appear against Queens Counsel. 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.

Craig works well as part of a team of counsel as both led and leading junior. He has been involved in many large cases with multiple defendants. He regularly deals with sensitive issues of disclosure and public-interest immunity, including covert human intelligence sources, intercept material and offenders with links to terrorism.

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 responsible for arranging the North Eastern Circuit’s advocacy training programme. He is an accredited advocacy trainer and a facilitator of vulnerable witness advocacy training.

Notable cases

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 this 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. Confiscation proceedings are ongoing.
  • 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 this ten-defendant tobacco duty fraud. The trial involved contested fingerprint, DNA and cellsite evidence. Confiscation proceedings are ongoing.
  • 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) – Ongoing fraud prosecution against an independent financial advisor who claimed inflated commission by “churning” his clients pension investments from fund to fund.

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.

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 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.
  • 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 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.

Sexual Offences

  • 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 review by HM Courts Service into the information routinely provided to jurors.

Public Access

Craig Hassall 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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