In addition to being a specialist advocate Mark is very experienced in the conduct of large-scale hybrid inquiries and investigations. He is well used to both adversarial and inquisitorial systems and his background as a jury advocate has refined his skills in client and witness handling, as well as in making complex legal submissions.
He is experienced in working on novel, large scale projects that require the core skills of marshalling, analysing and presenting very large quantities of material (including highly sensitive intelligence product arising from terrorist surveillance).
He has just returned from Bangkok and Singapore where he was working with Asia’s largest insurers and their reinsurers, examining the multi-billion dollar flood claims arising out of the 2011 flooding in Thailand.
From 2005 to 2010 the Treasury Solicitor instructed him as First Junior Counsel to the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry. The Inquiry was set up by the British government to inquire into allegations of state collusion in the murder of the prominent solicitor Rosemary Nelson in Northern Ireland in 1999, and whether the subsequent investigation of her murder was conducted with due diligence.
Throughout this time he was based in London, Belfast and Armagh and underwent security vetting to the highest level. The Inquiry’s oral hearings lasted for eighteen months and Mark was involved in questioning witnesses from a wide variety of backgrounds, including politicians, senior detectives, non-governmental organisations, ‘Special Branch’, the Security Services and army personnel, as well as alleged terrorists. He also worked closely with a team of retired English detectives producing a report into the investigation of the largest single murder inquiry in Northern Ireland's history.
In 2010 he was selected for inclusion on the list of defence counsel for the Special Tribunal for the Lebanon and underwent a training course in the Hague that same year.
From 2011 to 2012 he was the Lead Assistant Boundary Commissioner for the North West region. It was his responsibility, with two assistants, to conduct public hearings and prepare a report analysing the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals for redrawing parliamentary electoral boundaries. The report has been accepted in its entirety.
In between such projects he prosecutes and defends in the criminal courts. In particular, he undertakes criminal regulatory cases, as well as appearing at inquests in the coroner’s court. This has involved an understanding of many systems of work including those of local councils, emergency services, factories, construction and farms. He is also experienced in disciplinary cases, appearing before the General Medical Council’s Interim Order, Review, and Fitness to Practise panels.
His workload covers the whole range of serious criminal offences, with an emphasis on factually complex sexual and fatal road traffic offences, often involving expert evidence. He has been led by a Queen’s Counsel and been a leading junior in serious and complex criminal cases, some lasting for many months.
He is a listed at the highest grade for prosecution work, as well as being on the list of sex prosecutors, and is on the ‘A’ List for Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law. In addition, he has prosecuted for a number of government departments including the Departments for: Business, Innovation and Skills, Revenue and Customs, Work and Pensions and Environment, and Food and Rural Affairs.
Mark also regularly sits as a part-time judge in the Mental Health Tribunal hearing applications from mentally disordered individuals who wish to be released from compulsory detention under the Mental Health Act.
In addition to his day-to-day workload, Mark has been substantially involved with activities of the Bar Council of England and Wales. He was elected as a member in 1997 and spent five years as a member of the Young Barristers’ Committee. Between 2000 and 2007 he was a member of the Remuneration Committee. He was Junior of the Northern Circuit of the Bar in 1995 and its Honorary Secretary between 2003-2005. As well as being a member of the Northern Circuit’s Pupillage Monitoring Committee, he is a qualified advocacy trainer and has trained two pupils himself. Between 1999 and 2005 he taught Professional Conduct on Manchester Metropolitan University’s Bar Vocational Course. He has also sat on the Inner Temple’s financial awards interview panel.
Mark lives in Cheshire with his wife, son and daughter. He enjoys golf and yoga.