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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. Presently, and of note, he is instructed to prosecute a multi-handed servitude trial, as well as two cases for the Environment Agency in 2013. He has also represented appellants in cases referred to CA by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
As well as sitting as a Recorder, Christopher has recent, regular and extensive experience of chairing tribunals. He regularly chairs disciplinary and anti-doping hearings for the Rugby Football Union (‘RFU’), ERC, 6 Nations and IRB. His work for the RFU includes on-field disciplinary issues, as well as regulatory and competition appeals.
He was a Judicial Officer at the Rugby World Cup (‘RWC’) 2007 and Appeal Officer for the Junior World Championship in 2011. In September and October 2011 he was a Judicial Officer assigned to determine on-field disciplinary cases, commercial disputes and anti-doping allegations at the RWC 2011.
Christopher is a member of Sport Resolutions General Panel of Arbitrators. He has determined a variety of cases, in a wide range of different sports. They include rugby league, football, boxing, lawn tennis, as well as selection appeals. He chaired a selection appeal in respect of the non-selection of a British athlete for the 2012 London Olympics.
He has an internationally recognised expertise in anti-doping rules and procedures.
As an advocate Christopher has represented athletes and others before disciplinary tribunals. That work includes representing a professional golfer, a professional racing driver (before the Motor Sport Council National Court), the Mitsubishi Motors (UK) British Rally Team, as well as horse trainers charged in proceedings before the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority.
He has lectured at RFU annual disciplinary conferences, as well as IRB workshops and an international anti-doping conference (2012).
• Western Circuit
• Criminal Bar Association (Western Circuit Representative on Executive Committee)
• British Association for Sport and Law
• Bristol Medico-Legal Society
• Recorder of Crown Court (2009)
• Sport Resolutions (UK) 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, International Rugby Board (‘IRB’)
• Anti-Doping Panel Judicial Officer, IRB
• European Rugby Cup (‘ERC’), Judicial Officer Panel
• Chairman and Judicial Officer, RFU
Chambers UK 2013
Christopher Quinlan QC continues to impress observers since taking silk in 2011. He acts for the prosecution and defence in serious criminal cases, including R v Pritchard, in which his work led to the successful conviction of a gang of armed robbers. He is "a powerful advocate," who is "a real presence in court."
Christopher Quinlan QC of Guildhall Chambers has been successful in translating the skills he has forged at the Criminal Bar over to the sports sector. He is "as thorough as you could wish for," yet "doesn't get lost in the detail, and keeps sight of the overall picture," say those that instruct him. A "powerful advocate, who has real presence in court," he is a "punchy" barrister with a phenomenal reputation for expertise in sports disciplinary proceedings. He has appeared in cases across a broad range of sports, including football, both codes of rugby, and equestrian sports. He was appointed as one of the International Rugby Board's judicial officers at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Chambers UK 2012
Sports and criminal law barrister Christopher Quinlan QC recently gained silk and is described as "very sure footed" and a man with a "particular eye for detail.”
Guildhall's sporting expert is new silk Christopher Quinlan QC. He comes highly recommended for his expertise in rugby union, and is a judicial officer on both the International Rugby Board's and European Rugby Cup's disciplinary panels.
Chambers UK 2011
Others at the set who impress include Christopher Quinlan, who as acted as a leading junior in a number of serious matters. “In a pressing case, he is your man,” declared one source.
Christopher Quinlan has developed a strong sports practice. He draws praise for his “user-friendly approach and fantastically well thought-out decisions.”
Chambers UK 2010
Christopher Quinlan is “a very impressive advocate who is definitely going places.” Sources appreciate his direct approach with clients.
Chambers UK 2009
Christopher Quinlan is a “tenacious and forceful advocate whose defence case statements and legal arguments are thorough, well considered and persuasive.”
Legal 500 2012
Christopher Quinlan QC is frequently instructed in high-profile murder cases.
Legal 500 2011
Christopher Quinlan QC’s practice comprises heavyweight criminal matters and sports disciplinary cases.
Legal 500 2009
Christopher Quinlan is a very effective defender.