Christopher Quinlan QC

Year of call: 1992 | Silk: 2011

A "powerful advocate, who has real presence in court."
Chambers UK

Christopher Christopher QC

Christopher is a criminal and regulatory law silk with extensive experience in sports law. He is a Recorder and highly-experienced chairman of numerous sport disciplinary bodies and member of disciplinary panels.


Christopher is an experienced trial advocate specialising in serious crime.  Christopher took silk in 2011. He has continued to prosecute and defend cases of the utmost gravity, including murder, manslaughter, and serious sexual allegations. He has also appeared in Criminal Cases Review Commission cases. 

Significant Cases

  • Defended woman charged with the murder of her abusive partner. Case now reported on admissibility of bad character s101(1)(d) and s101(1)(g)  R v Cox [2014] EWCA Crim 804; [2014] 5 Archbold Review 1, CA; Criminal Law Week Issue 21/2014.
  • Prosecuted to conviction a three-month multi-handed servitude trial, one of the first in the country.
  • Defended an internationally renowned artist charged with historic sexual allegations as part of the Operation Yewtree investigation. 
  • He prosecuted two-month trial involving two parents charged with killing their four-month old daughter.
  • Defended young man charged with the murder of an elderly woman in her own home.
  • Prosecuted for Natural Resources Wales two substantive environmental law cases.

Sports Law

Listed as the first “notable practitioner” in  Chambers & Partners 2014 ‘Sport – The Regions’, Christopher advises, appears before, and chairs disciplinary tribunals in a wide variety of sports, including football, rugby union, rugby league, horseracing and equestrian, motorsport, lawn tennis, boxing and golf.

In 2012 he added the London Olympics to the portfolio of international sporting tournaments with which he has been involved professionally. He is involved at domestic, European and International levels. His sports disciplinary practice has taken him throughout Europe and New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. To that can be added the Rugby World Cup, 6 Nations Autumn Internationals (Northern & Southern Hemispheres), Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cups ('ERC'), English Premier league and (rugby) Premiership. He spent September and October of 2011 in New Zealand as an IRB Judicial Officer at the Rugby World Cup.

He is retained to sit on a number of sporting disciplinary and regulatory Panels. He has an international reputation as an expert in anti-doping regulations. In 2012 he was the only British lawyer appointed to the IRB Anti-Doping Panel.

He frequently lectures at sporting and anti-doping conferences.


Christopher has developed his regulatory junior practice in silk, with an expertise in Environmental Law. In 2012 and 2013 he prosecuted a number of high-profile cases for Natural Resources Wales (and its predecessor Environment Agency Wales). Those complex cases concerned the illegal depositing of millions of pounds of waste within and without the UK.


For further information and enquiries please contact:

Crime: Lucy Northeast

Sport: Lucy Northeast

Regulatory & Discipline: Lucy Northeast


  • Recorder
  • Sport Resolutions Panel of Arbitrators
  • Legal Member, National Anti-Doping Panel
  • Legal Member, National Child Safeguarding in Sport Panel
  • Specialist Panel Member, Football Association Judicial Panel
  • Judicial Officer, ERC
  • Judicial Officer, IRB
  • Anti-Doping Judicial Officer, IRB
  • Chairman & Judicial Officer, RFU


  • British Association for Sport & Law
  • Bristol Medico-Legal Society
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Western Circuit


  • LLB Hons