Mark Ellison QC


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Mark Ellison QC

Head of Chambers
Silk 2008
Call 1979
LLB (University of Wales)

Practice: Fraud and Crime

Crime Silk of the year 2012 - Chambers Awards

"Smart, meticulous and has first-class judgement." "A fabulous trial lawyer."
Chambers UK (2016) Financial Crime

"He is incredibly hard-working and very effective, and has great command of the details." Chambers UK (2016) Crime

"He is a first-class advocate and highly aware of what the other side is thinking. He takes a calm, intelligent approach to problems."
Chambers UK (2015) Financial Crime 

"An impressive strategist who comes up with practical solutions." Legal 500 (2015) Business and Regulatory Crime

"Gets right to the heart of the issue." Legal 500 (2015) Crime

"Bright and authoritative." Legal 500 (2015) Fraud: crime (including money laundering and asset forfeiture)


After many years of working in serious fraud, he became Treasury Counsel in 1994, rising to First Senior Treasury Counsel (2006 - 2008) gaining valuable experience in high profile and complex terrorism, serious fraud and terrorist funding, official secrets, serious crime, corruption and public law cases at all levels.  He now mixes private and public work across fraud, regulatory and criminal law, acting for corporations and individuals. Recently he has carried out an independent review of undercover policing and possible police corruption connected to the Stephen Lawrence case for the Home Secretary.

Recent Work

Recently he has: advised the CPS in connection with the 'Plebgate Incident'; advised BP regarding the inquest into the 'In Amenas' incident in Algeria; defended Luton airport on health and safety charges; advised and acted for the prosecution in the murder of Stephen Lawrence; defended in the largest ever alternative investment market prosecution; prosecuted in the first 'new act' corporate manslaughter; acted in the Judicial Review brought by the Tchenguiz brothers against the SFO; defended ex-Lovells partner Christopher Grierson; advised the FSA in relation to a major insider dealing investigation; advised Google in relation to its street view data capture; defended in the first OFT prosecution for a cartel offence under the Enterprise Act 2002 'Marine Hose'; advised the Home Office in relation to the possible admission of intercepted communications as evidence in criminal proceedings; acted for the General Medical Council in the case of Great Ormond Street Hospital's Professor Bonhoeffer and been involved in multi-disciplinary investigations for corporates. 

Past high-profile serious fraud cases include: Guinness; Blue Arrow; North Sea Oil and Channel Tunnel corruption.  Past high-profile criminal cases include: public, international and domestic law advice relating to issues connected to the alleged illegality of the war on Iraq.   

More Reviews

"Superbly intelligent." Legal 500 (2013) Fraud Crime.

"He is one of the top silks in the country; he is fantastic." Chambers UK (2014) Crime

“Mark Ellison QC is an ‘extremely bright and talented silk’ who attracts choice of instructions in serious fraud cases.  Examples include acting on behalf of the CEO of an AIM company accused of reckless mis-statement to the market, and appearing in a private prosecution with parallel civil proceedings brought by a billionaire property tycoon against his former mistress."

“His experience ranges across the full gamut of high-profile terrorism, fraud and serious crime cases, and he is noted for being 'very strong, very bright' and 'probably the top prosecutor at the moment.'  He was heavily involved in R v Dobson and Norris, advising and acting for the prosecution of two men found guilty of murdering Stephen Lawrence in 1993." 
Chambers 2013 Crime and Fraud

Mark Ellison QC is “an iron fist in a velvet glove, with the weight of industry and insight behind it."  Legal 500 2012 (Fraud)

"An extremely bright and talented silk." Chambers UK (2014) Fraud: Criminal

"Mark Ellison QC is 'a good communicator who brings great judgement and fine advocacy skills to any case.'  Although more of a criminal specialist, this ex Treasury counsel is a fine fraud practitioner who is 'an unvarnished star' at whatever he turns his hand to." Chambers UK 2012



SFO Approved Counsel List

2010 - 2015

Deputy High Court Judge

2006 - 2008

First Senior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court


Senior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court

1999 - 2015
1994 Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court

Additional Information

Past Chairman of Bar Council Remuneration and Terms of Work;

Member of the Professional Practise Committee of the Bar Council 2009-2012
Bar Council Representative on the Criminal Justice Council 2008-2012

Registered with the Bar Council - Public Access Directory Member of the Public Access Bar Association - PABA.

Notable cases:

Operation Tabernula (Dodgson, Hind, Anderson, Parvizi, Harrison) 2016
Two convicted in the ‘biggest ever insider trading trial’; Mark Ellison instructed by the FCA to prosecute.

Chevron Limited (2015)
Instructed to act for Chevron Corporation in relation to a joint police and HSE investigation into the explosion at it’

Bahamas (2015)
Instructed to Advise a senior lawyer in the Caribbean in relation to the investigation of on-going threats and intimidation.

Alstom (2015)
Instructed to defend a senior employee of Alstom in relation to SFO corruption charges.

SFO Saudi Corruption Investigation (2015)
Instructed to advise director of Airbus Industries subsidiary in relation to SFO corruption investigation related to Saudi Na

SFO Corruption Investigation (2015)
Instructed to advise former senior executive of GlaxoSmithKlein in China and Hong Kong re SFO investigation.

R v Rifat (2015)
Represented the FCA at the sentencing hearing of ex Moore’s Capital trader Julian Rifat

Operation Tabernula (2015)
The most complex insider dealing investigation undertaken so far by the Financial Services Authority

R v Sidebottom (2014)
Mark Ellison QC represents construction company director on manslaughter by gross negligence charge relating to health and s

Mark Ellison represents defendant in SFO $40m corruption case. (2014)
Mark Ellison QC represented Bruce Hall, the co-operating defendant in the SFO's $40m corruption case related to the business

Stephen Lawrence report published by Home Office (2014)
Head of Chambers Mark Ellison QC’s report was published today (6th March 2014) by the Home Office.


Global Reference Guide: Fraud & White Collar Crime 2011
Financier Worldwide has released an e-book. Mark Ellison QC comments on the enhanced risk of those involved in running compa 18.5.2011
Download (PDF) >