Chris McCann is from Belfast and graduated with an LLB (Hons) in law from the University of Ulster in 2005 and joined the Criminal Law Department of Harte Coyle Collins Solicitors in January 2006. Chris provided support for the Criminal Law Department and gained particular expertise in Prison Law.
From 2007 to 2009 he built on this experience working for an established criminal defence firm in Dublin dealing with criminal cases in both the District and Circuit Courts in Dublin and other parts of the Irish Republic.
Chris returned to the Harte Coyle Collins Criminal Law Department in September 2009 as a trainee solicitor and completed his training contract with the firm and at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University from September 2009, qualifying as a solicitor in September 2011.
His extensive experience makes him an expert in prisoners’ rights assisting the Judicial Review Department in highlighting challenges regarding decisions made by the Department of Justice and the Parole Commission regarding clients in custody.
Chris’s expertise also includes defending applications by the Department of Justice to revoke prisoners’ licences, preparing oral and written submissions for tariff hearings for life sentence prisoners, and preparing oral and written submissions for pre-expiry tariff hearings for life sentence prisoners. Cases involving the revocation of client’s prison licences have a fundamental impact on their liberty and lives. Chris is one of a handful of solicitors in Northern Ireland with specific expertise and knowledge in such cases.
Chris has responsibility within the Harte Coyle Collins Criminal Law Department for criminal defence cases in all Magistrates and Crown Court divisions outside the Belfast area and also deals with both Police and Criminal Evidence and Terrorism Act arrests. He also has responsibility for appeals against conviction and/or sentence arising from Crown Court cases to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.
Chris is a keen sportsman having played Gaelic football at all club levels and is currently the Player/Manager of the Belfast Solicitors’ Gaelic Football Team.