Called to the Bar:1979

Silk:2008

  • A highly sought after top-ranked silk known for his phenomenal advocacy skills and ability to master the most complex of issues. Mark Ellison QC continues to lead QEB Hollis Whiteman as the Head of Chambers.

    Corporate & Financial Crime

    A practice focused on the private defence of alleged bribery, corruption and other frauds as well as large health and safety cases; he acts for senior individuals and corporates. Mark is consistently ranked in Tier 1 in this field across all industry guides, with the market recognising him as a fantastic strategist and a silk who does much of the detailed preparation himself, meticulously but with ease. He has phenomenal judgement and can make the most complex subject seem easy, both in consultation and court. A first class advocate with an ability to know what his opponent is thinking. 

    Despite a focus on the defence market, Mark continues to provide strategic advice to prosecuting entities.

    Crime

    After 14 years as Treasury Counsel prosecuting serious criminal cases including murder, terrorism and terrorist funding, bribery and corruption, and official secrets, Mark’s practice has moved into the realms of defence.

    His criminal work is currently focused on private defence particularly of professionals and more specifically in medical and industrial manslaughter cases often with an international element.

    Private Prosecutions

    Mark’s experience and reputation in prosecution work, both for his role as First Treasury Counsel and for the major and ground breaking work he has done for financial prosecuting entities, means that he is sought-after in this area of work. 

    Public Law

    Mark’s reputation in this field has gone from strength to strength since Theresa May’s commission of The Ellison Review, the independent Inquiry into corruption and the role of undercover policing surrounding the investigation into the Stephen Lawrence murder.

    In addition to his work in Public Inquiries and Reviews, he also acts for prominent interested parties in inquests and on behalf of individuals and corporates seeking remedy via Judicial Review.

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2019: Financial Crime - Band 1; Financial Crime: Corporates – Band 1; Crime - Band 2

    Chambers High Net Worth 2019: Financial Crime: High Net Worth Individuals – Band 2

    Legal 500 2019: Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global investigations) – Tier 1

    'Completely down-to-earth and unassuming, but nevertheless one of the most powerful criminal silks around.' Chambers UK Crime (2019)

    ‘He is fantastic on both sides and his reputation precedes him.' Chambers High Net Worth (2019)

    'A former very senior prosecutor who absolutely understands how to defend; he brings all the insight into how the prosecution is likely to bring a case when tenaciously defending his clients.' 'He is excellent on his feet and an excellent strategist.' Chambers UK Financial Crime (2019)

    'An excellent silk with wide-ranging experience who adds great value to each instruction.’ L500 UK Crime (2018)

    'He is the most engaging and hard-working of leaders, and the sort of person who if you were told he was in the case you would jump at it and say you definitely wanted to do it.' Chambers UK Financial Crime (2018)

    'A true privilege to work with, and someone who is calm and assured.' Chambers UK Financial Crime (2018)

    'He has a brilliant ability to master very complex cases and transform them into clear issues before the court.' Legal 500 Business and Regulatory Crime (2017)

    'One of the most experienced silks around he’s done it all.' Legal 500 Financial Crime (2016)

    Appointments

    • 1994-2008:                Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court
    • 1999-2015:                Recorder
    • 2006-2008 :               First Senior Treasury Counsel
    • 2008:                         Queens Counsel 
    • 2009-2012:                Past Chairman of Bar Council Remuneration and Terms of Work & Member of the Professional Practise Committee of the Bar Council 
    • 2008-2012:                Bar Council Representative on the Criminal Justice Council 
    • 2010-2015:                Deputy High Court Judge

    Professional Memberships 

    • Fraud Lawyers Association
    • Health and Safety Lawyers Association
    • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
    • Criminal Bar Association

    Education

    • LLB (UWIST - Cardiff)
       Who's Who Legal

    Privacy Notice

    Recent Cases

    News

  • Corporate and Financial Crime

    The go-to silk for complex corporate & financial crime. Involved in almost all high-profile cases in this field, both in the present day and in previous years.

    Overview

    A practice focused on the private defence of alleged bribery, corruption and other frauds as well as large health and safety cases; he acts for senior individuals and corporates. Mark is consistently ranked in Tier 1 in this field across all industry guides with the market recognising him as a fantastic strategist and a silk who does much of the detailed preparation himself, meticulously but with ease. He has phenomenal judgement and can make the most complex subject seem easy, both in consultation and court. A first class advocate with an ability to know what his opponent is thinking. 

    Despite a focus on the defence market, Mark continues to provide strategic advice to prosecuting entities.

    Experience

    Mark’s experience has spanned the full corporate and financial crime spectrum. He has long been involved with cases arising from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and HSE investigations. He has advised BP regarding the inquest into the "In Amenas" incident in Algeria; defended Luton airport on health and safety charges; 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 (now FCA) 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"; prosecuted the biggest case ever brought for share trading abuses in the UK;  and has been involved in multi-disciplinary investigations for corporates.  

    Mark has built on the experience he gleaned from his early career and involvement in: Guinness; Blue Arrow; North Sea Oil and Channel Tunnel corruption. 

    Notable Cases

    Luton Airport Operations Ltd
    Mark Ellison QC is instructed to defend London Luton Airport Operations Ltd in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive related to a death outside the terminal.

    Chevron Ltd (2015)
    Instructed to act for Chevron Corporation in relation to a joint police and HSE investigation into the explosion at its Pembroke Refinery in 2011.

    SFO Saudi Corruption Investigation
    Mark Ellison QC is instructed to advise a Director of an Airbus Industries subsidiary in relation to an SFO corruption investigation related to Saudi National Guard contract payments.

    R v CS (2014)
    Mark Ellison QC defended CS, commercial director of a construction company in regards to the death of an employee.

    R v Hall (2014)
    Mark Ellison QC represented Bruce Hall, the co-operating defendant in the SFO's US$40m corruption case.

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2019: Financial Crime – Band 1; Financial Crime: Corporates – Band 1

    Chambers High Net Worth 2019: Financial Crime: High Net Worth Individuals – Band 2

    Legal 500 2019: Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global investigations) – Tier 1

    'A former very senior prosecutor who absolutely understands how to defend; he brings all the insight into how the prosecution is likely to bring a case when tenaciously defending his clients.' 'He is excellent on his feet and an excellent strategist.' Chambers UK Financial Crime (2019)

    ‘He is fantastic on both sides and his reputation precedes him.' Chambers High Net Worth (2019)

    'He is the most engaging and hard-working of leaders, and the sort of person who if you were told he was in the case you would jump at it and say you definitely wanted to do it.' Chambers UK (2018) 

    'A true privilege to work with, and someone who is calm and assured.' Chambers UK (2018)

    'He has a brilliant ability to master very complex cases and transform them into clear issues before the court.' Legal 500 (2017)

    'Extremely hard working, he takes it upon himself to do a lot of detailed preparation. He's a fantastic all-rounder and a pleasure to work with as he's delightful and easy-going. Has great commercial judgement.' Chambers UK (2017)

    'He is a very experienced prosecutor and brings that to bear brilliantly when defending.' Legal 500 (2017)

    'A fabulous trial lawyer.' Chambers UK (2016)

    'Smart, meticulous and has first-class judgement' Chambers UK (2016)

    'A fantastic strategist and real team player.' Legal 500 (2016)

    'One of the most experienced silks around he’s done it all.' Legal 500 (2016)

    '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) 

    'Bright and authoritative.' Legal 500 (2015)

    'An impressive strategist who comes up with practical solutions.' Legal 500 (2015)

    Recent Cases

    News

  • Former First Treasury Counsel now with a practice focused on private defence; his strategic skills and advocacy are unrivalled.

    Overview

    After 14 years as Treasury Counsel prosecuting serious criminal cases including murder, terrorism and terrorist funding, bribery and corruption, and official secrets, Mark’s practice has moved into the realms of defence.

    His criminal work is currently focused on private defence particularly of professionals and more specifically in medical and industrial manslaughter cases often with an international element.

    Experience

    Throughout his career Mark has been at the forefront of many high-profile and legally ground-breaking cases. This has included prosecuting Gary Dobson and David Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence in the 2012 trial which followed the Court of Appeal quashing Dobson’s original acquittal after the laws on double jeopardy had changed. Mark dealt with this case from the Court of Appeal stages through to the subsequent Independent Review into possible corruption and the role of undercover policing. Theresa May, the then Home Secretary, commissioned the Review which is known as The Ellison Review.

    Mark’s reputation means that he is often called upon to take criminal cases to the highest tiers of the Court system. He represented a respected colorectal surgeon, in his successful appeal against conviction for the manslaughter of a patient by gross negligence.

    Mark is also called upon to advise prominent figures in other jurisdictions. He was instructed to advise a QC in the Bahamas in relation to multiple risks and legal issues.

    Notable Cases

    R v David Sellu [2016] EWCA Crim 1716
    Advised and represented a respected colorectal surgeon, in his successful appeal against conviction for the manslaughter of a patient by gross negligence.

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

    R v Dobson & Norris (2012)
    Prosecuted the two men convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, in the 2012 trial. Mr Ellison also conducted the subsequent report published in 2014 by the Home Office. Read the Ellison Report here.

    R v Sudanshu Garg [2012] EWCA Crim 2520
    The Court of Appeal, the LCJ presiding, handed down guidance to sentences dealing with gross medical negligence manslaughter cases. Sudanshu Garg was the first such case to come before the courts since the Criminal Justice Act 2003 required greater emphasis to be given to the harm caused by an offence.

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2018: Financial Crime - Band 1; Financial Crime: Corporates – Band 1; Crime - Band 2

    Legal 500 2017: Business and Regulatory Crime (Including Global investigations) - Tier 1

    'Completely down-to-earth and unassuming, but nevertheless one of the most powerful criminal silks around.' Chambers UK Crime (2019)

    'A former very senior prosecutor who absolutely understands how to defend; he brings all the insight into how the prosecution is likely to bring a case when tenaciously defending his clients.' 'He is excellent on his feet and an excellent strategist.' Chambers UK Financial Crime (2019)

    ‘An excellent silk with wide-ranging experience who adds great value to each instruction.’ Legal 500 UK Crime (2018)

    'A phenomenal advocate with a tremendous reputation.' Chambers UK (2018)

    'He is a consummate prosecutor - he designed the strategy for a very, very difficult case and proved himself to be a superb advocate, a fantastic strategist, and someone who is extremely hardworking. He's a fantastic all-rounder and a pleasure to work with; he's really delightful. He's very effective and an extremely likeable and popular guy.' Chambers UK (2017)

    'He is incredibly hardworking and very effective, and has great command of the details.' Chambers UK (2016)

    'A Leader of the bar.' Chambers UK (2016)

    'He is wonderfully user-friendly and is just streets ahead of everyone else intellectually.' Chambers UK (2015)

    'He is an exceptionally bright and talented QC, who is fun to work with.' Chambers UK (2015)

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

    Recent Cases

    • Mark Ellison QC represented David Sellu, consultant surgeon specialising in colorectal medicine, in his successful appeal against his manslaughter conviction.

    • Ben FitzGerald acted as junior prosecution counsel, together with Mark Ellison QC, in this historic murder case.

    News

  • Private Prosecutions

    Former First Treasury Counsel and prominent prosecutor now recognised as a leading figure in the field of Private Prosecutions.

    Overview

    Mark’s experience and reputation in prosecution work both for his role as First Treasury Counsel and for the major and ground breaking work he has done for financial prosecuting entities, means that he is sought-after in this area of work. 

    Experience 

    Mark’s skillset has placed him as the natural choice for private individuals and entities seeking resolution, often in the face of the State’s inertia. His involvement has helped to provide effective remedies for victims of crime, particularly in the financial and corporate crime forum; Mark has advised and conducted private prosecutions brought by a private individual and private entities, covering blackmail, financial market abuse, and cartel offences.

    Notable Cases

    Re - Cartel Offence 
    Private prosecution brought by the Competition and Markets Authority. Mark Ellison QC advised and represented the CMA.

    R v Wu
    Mark Ellison QC represented the private prosecutor, billionaire Samuel Tak Lee, in relation to an alleged blackmail of him.

    Reviews

    'A former very senior prosecutor who absolutely understands how to defend; he brings all the insight into how the prosecution is likely to bring a case when tenaciously defending his clients.' 'He is excellent on his feet and an excellent strategist.' Chambers UK (2019)

    ‘An excellent silk with wide-ranging experience who adds great value to each instruction.’ Legal 500 UK (2018)

    'Extremely hard working, he takes it upon himself to do a lot of detailed preparation. He's a fantastic all-rounder and a pleasure to work with as he's delightful and easy-going. Has great commercial judgement.' Chambers UK (2017)

    'He is a very experienced prosecutor and brings that to bear brilliantly when defending.' Legal 500 (2017)

    'Smart, meticulous and has first-class judgement.' Chambers UK (2016)

    'He is wonderfully user-friendly and is just streets ahead of everyone else intellectually.' Chambers UK (2015)

  • Meticulous, strategic, intelligent and authoritative; Mark Ellison QC is regularly instructed to lead and represent participants in Inquiries, Inquests and Judicial Reviews.

    Overview

    Mark’s reputation in this field has gone from strength to strength since Theresa May’s commission of The Ellison Review, the independent Inquiry into corruption and the role of undercover policing surrounding the Investigation into the Stephen Lawrence murder.

    In addition to his work in Public Inquiries and Reviews he also acts for prominent interested parties in inquests and on behalf of individuals and corporates seeking remedy via Judicial Review.

    Experience 

    Following the Ellison Review Mark has been involved in numerous inquests. He has been instructed to represent individuals and, mainly, corporates at inquests often following industrial accidents; Mark has recently represented both Chevron and BP.

    He is a prominent advocate at the High Court, often engaged to advise and act in Judicial Reviews; he represented the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the Tchenguiz brothers’ Judicial Review of their arrests and the searches of their homes and offices in raids by the SFO.

    Notable Cases

    R (Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees & Others) v Central Criminal Court, Director of the SFO and Vincent Tchenguiz [2012] EWHC 2254 (Admin)
    Acted for the Director of the Serious Fraud Office in this Judicial Review.

    Independent Review of Police Corruption in the Stephen Lawrence Case
    Conducted the review and author of the report. Read the Ellison report here.

    Inquest into the deaths in an explosion at the Chevron Refinery in Pembrokeshire (inquest opened in 2015)
    Mark Ellison QC Instructed to act for Chevron Corporation in relation to a joint police and HSE investigation into the explosion at its Pembroke Refinery in 2011.

    Inquest into the death of Kane Sparham-Price (2015)
    Mark Ellison QC acted for Wonga UK after a teenage boy committed suicide.

    In Amenas Inquest (2015)
    Mark Ellison QC gave pre-inquest advice to British Petroleum in connection with the deaths of UK nationals.

    Reviews 

    'An excellent silk with wide-ranging experience who adds great value to each instruction.' Legal 500 UK (2018)

    'A true privilege to work with, and someone who is calm and assured.' Chambers UK (2018)

    'He has a brilliant ability to master very complex cases and transform them into clear issues before the court.' Legal 500 (2017)

    'He is an exceptionally bright and talented QC, who is fun to work with.' Chambers UK (2015)

    'An impressive strategist who comes up with practical solutions.' Legal 500 (2015)

    Recent Cases