Call us on: 0161 214 6000
  • Year of call


    Inner Temple

    2006 - Call to the Bar of Northern Ireland 

  • Education

    Eton College

    Durham University BA (Hons) Law

  • Professional Associations

    Criminal Bar Association

    Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association

    Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers

  • Appointments

    Junior of the Northern Circuit 1995

    Hon. Secretary of the Northern Circuit 2002-2005

    ‘A’ List for Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law

    CPS Advocates Panel - Cat 4 (R)

    Fee-paid judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) 2004 to present

    List of defence counsel for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon 2010

    Lead Assistant Boundary Commissioner for the North West Region 2011 to present

    Attorney General's Unified List of Prosecution Counsel - Cat A

    Approved Counsel for the International Criminal Court 

Areas of specialism


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 of over twenty years 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).

Between 2012 and 2013 he spent a number of months living in Bangkok and Singapore, where he was working with  one of Asia’s largest insurers, their reinsurers and loss adjusters, 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.  In 2014 he was selected for inclusion on the list of defence counsel for the International Criminal Court, also based in The Hague.
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 was accepted in its entirety.

In addition to 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.  The latter in particular has involved an understanding of many systems of work including road construction and traffic management, those of local councils, emergency services, factories, construction and farms.  He is also experienced in disciplinary cases, and has appeared 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 offences 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.

Other Activities

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.

Notable cases

R -v- Sanjay Mistry

2014 Mark Savill obtained an order for the payment of £265,000 from HHJ Steiger QC under the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  A period of five years imprisonment in default of payment was set.

Mr Savill was instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service's Specialist Fraud Division (Manchester).  The proceedings followed on from the defendant's conviction after a trial for alcohol and tobacco duty evasion offences in 2013, for which he was imprisoned.

R -v- Joseph Thornton

Mark Savill secured an acquittal on 9 October 2014 for an 84 year old music teacher, accused of indecently assaulting a pupil 30 years ago.


Health and Safety
Regina (Lancashire County Council) v John Pinder

On September 9th Mark Savill represented the owner of a Burnley care home at his sentencing hearing before Preston Crown Court, following his guilty plea to a health and safety offence.  Mr Pinder had been prosecuted in relation to the death of an elderly resident, who had fallen from a stair lift. The court was persuaded that there was 'only so much' Mr Pinder could have done to ensure the appropriate rules were followed.

R -v- Joseph Mullen

Mark Savill has prosecuted a defendant for offences of sexual abuse over a twenty year period, against four separate children.  Previous reports by the girls had led to 'no further action'.  In June this year, after a trial, he was convicted of 19 offences of sexual abuse by a jury at Preston Crown Court. On 29 September Her Honour Judge Badley sentenced the defendant to a total of 14 years imprisonment with an extended sentence for the protection of the public of 6 years.  She also imposed a sexual offences prevention order.

R v (BP) Smith [1997] QB 836 CA

Defence counsel in an authority on the misjoinder of offences on an indictment.

R v A.M.and Others [1998] 1 WLR 363 CA

Defence counsel in a guideline authority for sentencing young offenders.

R v Roper and others

Junior counsel in the ‘Dillon Hull’ shooting in Bolton, when an eight-year-old child of a drug dealer was killed in weapons’ crossfire.

Drug Supply
R v McAllister

Defence counsel in a two-month long heroin supply, ‘arrest and caution policy’, voir dire.

R v Crompton and others

Defence counsel in a Bolton ‘car ringing’ case, involving corrupt police vehicle examiners.

R v Awan and others

Junior counsel for the prosecution in a multi-million pound, Europe-wide, year-long alcohol duty diversion fraud trial.

Health and Safety
HSE v Deva Mills

Defence counsel in a case concerning an explosion in a cereal factory, involving the near decapitation of an employee.

Drug Importation
R v Coughlan and others

Junior defence counsel in an inter-prison drug smuggling, ‘phone tapping’, case. Complex legal issues of admissibility surrounding recorded telephone conversations between prisoners.

Trading Standards
Trading Standards v Bridgewater Boat Builders

Defended Trading Standards’ prosecution of a long boat-building firm, alleged to have breached numerous regulations in constructing a boat, with the defence of ‘reasonable practicability’.

R v Villiers and others [2002] CLR 421

Junior counsel for the Crown in an authority relating to the use and disclosure of participating informants in criminal offences.

R v Hanratty and another

Defence counsel in the ‘race-hate’ bombing case of a Rochdale takeaway food restaurant.

R v Coughlan [2003]

Defence counsel in a child abuse case, involving cigarette burns and other serious physical abuse.

R v McGrath

Defence counsel in a multi-count, multi-victim historic rape and indecent assault case.

R v Bates

Junior counsel for the defence in a multi-million pound car engine number grinding operation, involving again corrupt Bolton police vehicle examiners.

R v Jennings and others

Junior counsel for the prosecution in a multi-million pound cigarette importation conspiracy.

R v Billington and others

Junior defence counsel in an exhaust stack explosion case, which lead to double corporate manslaughter charges.

Health and Safety
M56 Motorway Multiple Fatality Crash

Advised Britannia Hotels group regarding possible manslaughter charges following the crash of one of its airport shuttles on a motorway that led to a number of deaths.

Health and Safety
Fleetwood Sand Yachting Fatality

Advised local authority regarding possible manslaughter charges and disclosure applications arising out of the death of a walker struck by a sand yacht.

Health and Safety
HSE v Manchester County Fire Service

Junior counsel for the fire service in a prosecution that followed the drowning of a fire fighter, who attempted to save a child from a lake.

Health and Safety
HSE v Asda

Defence Counsel for supermarket charged with storage of fireworks

R v Peacock

Defence counsel in a case involving the gross neglect manslaughter of a heroin addict.

R v Hough and others

Defence counsel in a Bolton/Manchester United football riot case.

Health and Safety
HSE v Matthews and others

Counsel for the head of a diving school, charged with Health and Safety offences, following a diving fatality

Health and Safety
HSE v Barrow Council

Junior counsel for the council following a large-scale Legionnaire’s disease outbreak in the town of Barrow. This was a multiple manslaughter prosecution involving the legal issue as to whether a local Council could be criminally liable for such an offence.

Health and Safety
HSE v The University of Salford

Counsel for the University in respect of charges arising from a staff member being impaled on a car park barrier.

Health and Safety

Prosecution counsel in a fatal crushing accident case.

Health and Safety
HSE v Brown

Defence counsel in a building works asbestos exposure incident.

Health and Safety
HSE v Enterprise Inns

Defence counsel in case arising from a pub electrical fire

Death by Dangerous
R v Pattinson

Defence counsel in a month-long, death by dangerous driving trial, involving complex expert evidence and numerous child witnesses.

R v Young

Defence counsel for a dentist who had indecently assaulted his wife.

Health and Safety
HSE v Warrington Borough Council

Defence counsel following an explosion in a science lesson.

Death by Careless
R v Steele

Defence counsel for the driver of a refuse lorry charged with causing death by careless driving.

Health and Safety
HSE v Ken Brogden Ltd [2011] EWCA Crim 2687

Defence counsel for a scaffolding manufacturing company charged following the death of a steeplejack. Subsequent successful pro bono sentence appeal.

Health and Safety
HSE v MPB Ltd and Wates Construction Ltd

Prosecuting a QC and junior in large-scale scaffolding collapse incident at Liverpool John Moore University

R v O’Connell

Defence counsel in two-defendant month long, drug rape case. Expert issues as to intoxification.

R v Bennett & Another

Defence counsel in a case of drug date-rape.

R v Hussain

Defence counsel in Asian arranged marriage rape and domestic violence trial.

R v Malik and others

Prosecution counsel in multi-handed section 18 wounding and violent disorder incident.

Attempted Murder
R v Bryan

Defence counsel for an individual charged with attempted murder by shooting.

R v Davidson and others

Defence counsel in large-scale conspiracy to steal rail track across the northwest.

Health and Safety
R v Swadlincote Diesel

Defence counsel in case involving unsafe systems of work at a garage

Health and Safety
HSE v Dovecote Park Ltd

R v Reilly

R v Whitehead

What the directories say...

  • Acts on all general crime matters. He is recommended for his expertise in defending sexual abuse allegations.

    "His advocacy skills are outstanding."

    - Chambers UK, 2015
  • ‘Experienced in large-scale inquiries and investigations.’ (Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing)

    - Legal 500, 2014
  • 'Mark Savill is very good, very professional and has good client skills. He is good on his feet and in terms of written skills as well.'

    - Chambers UK, 2014
  • 'highly skilled in the handling of large-scale investigations and inquiries.'

    - Legal 500, 2014
  • ‘very well prepared and very calm’

    - Chambers UK, 2013
  • ‘dedicated and hard working’ and ‘handles a large volume of GMC work’

    - Chambers UK, 2012
  • ‘fearless and level headed’ and ‘very thorough and conscientious’

    - Chambers UK, 2011
  • ‘a very smooth performer’

    - Chambers UK, 2010
  • ‘a practitioner of undoubted merit’

    - Chambers UK, 2009
  • ‘displays maturity beyond his years’

    - Chambers UK, 2008
  • ‘a highly rated junior’

    - Chambers UK, 2007
  • ‘a lawyer fast becoming one of the first names you call in a crisis according to solicitors’

    - Chambers UK, 2006
  • ‘one of two juniors leading the way at Deans Court’

    - Chambers UK, 2005
  • ‘stands out thanks to sparkling feed-back from his peers’

    - Chambers UK, 2004