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Mark has a broad practice with a particular focus on Employment and DiscriminationEducationPublic and Commercial law.

He is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel.

Employment Law

Mark has appeared unled in the Employment Tribunal, EAT and High Court in matters across the full spectrum of employment litigation. He has acted as sole counsel in cases pleaded in excess of £1m and as junior counsel in cases with a value of more than £10m.

Mark has acted in or advised on matters concerning: discrimination (disability, religion, race, sex, age, sexual orientation, and pregnancy and maternity); harassment; victimisation; unfair dismissal; wrongful dismissal; whistleblowing; employment and worker status; TUPE; holiday pay; equal pay; territorial jurisdiction; restrictive covenants; res judicata; strike out and deposit orders; and costs.

Mark’s recent employment law experience includes:

  • Ince Gordon Dadds LLP v Tunstall [2019] 6 WLUK 323: Successfully resisted an appeal to the EAT in a case concerning an issue, never previously determined, as to the scope of the statutory moratorium which applies to legal proceedings against a company in administration. The case was featured in The Times, The Lawyer and The Law Gazette.
  • RMT v Lloyd [2019] 3 WLUK 778: Successfully resisted an appeal to the EAT in an age discrimination case considering the legitimacy of the aims relied on by the respondent to justify the treatment.
  • Antuzis v DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd [2019] EWHC 843 (QB): Appeared as junior counsel in a 4-day High Court case which clarified the circumstances in which an officer of a company will be personally liable for inducing breach of contract. The case was widely reported in the media including by The Times, The Guardian and BBC News. Mark appeared as sole counsel in a number of preliminary hearings in this case, including appearing against a QC to successfully resist the Claimant’s application for judgment pursuant to CPR 3.5(5).

Since January 2017, Mark has been the author of the Working Time chapter in Tolley’s Employment Law (loose-leaf) and consequently is regularly instructed in claims in developing areas of law concerning the Working Time Regulations. For example, he successfully represented a claimant in a worker-status case which was one of the first domestic cases to apply the CJEU’s judgment in King v The Sash Window Workshop Ltd [2018] IRLR 142.

Mark is also developing experience of cases within the financial services sector, acting for both claimants and respondents. He was recently instructed to act as sole counsel for a fintech start-up in a whistleblowing case involving complex issues as to the valuation of the claimant’s share options. Mark’s commercial approach and negotiation skills have enabled him to break the deadlock and obtain favourable settlements in a number of sensitive matters, including a claim concerning a commission payment of over £100,000 which settled at court following the exchange of skeleton arguments.

In addition to his employment practice, Mark is often instructed in goods and services discrimination claims. For example, Mark is currently instructed in two ongoing claims for disability discrimination allocated to the multi track which have been brought against the Student Loans Company and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Education Law

Schools and further education

Mark regularly appears before the First-Tier Tribunal (Special Education Needs and Disability) in appeals relating to the contents of EHC Plans (Sections B, F and I). Mark has also acted in a number of exclusion cases involving both maintained and independent schools.

In a recent post-19 case featuring a young person with multiple learning difficulties, 11 experts across 6 different disciplines provided reports included in the bundle. Mark successfully persuaded the Tribunal to order a 38-week residential placement at a specialist independent college offering a waking day curriculum, together with a 14-week residential social care placement. The total cost of this placement (together with the provision ordered) was over £140,000 per year. Mark also obtained provision costing over £60,000 per year in another post-19 case.

Prior to commencing pupillage, Mark was the Chief Student Director of the School Exclusion Project, an award-winning pro bono unit for exclusion cases, and has also volunteered as a caseworker for SOS!SEN for a number of years. His article on the impact of the exclusion system on children with SEN was published in The Telegraph and he has provided comments on similar issues for several articles published in The Guardian. Mark regularly provides talks and training on education law and has spoken at events including the SEN Law Annual Conference, the Education Law Association Annual Conference and the SOS!SEN 15th Anniversary Conference,

Ofsted

Mark spent one year on a part-time secondment at Ofsted where he led Ofsted’s legal services team in advising on issues concerning independent schools and equality law.

Mark worked closely with the inspectorate and policy teams and provided training and advice to senior leaders, including Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, on topics such as the PSED and gender reassignment discrimination. He also provided advisory services on a range of public and education law matters, including assisting with the case of R. (on the application of Durand Academy Trust) v Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) [2018] EWCA Civ 2813 in the Court of Appeal. Independently of his secondment, Mark was instructed by Ofsted to assist with the preparation of witness statements for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Higher Education

Mark recently appeared in court on behalf of a university in relation to a breach of contract and negligence claim with a pleaded value of up to £50,000. Mark has advised a number of university students on applications for judicial review against their universities and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, particularly concerning allegations of plagiarism. He has also advised the claimant, a medical doctor, in a disability discrimination case brought against a qualifications body in the Employment Tribunal.

Public Law

Mark welcomes instructions in relation to all areas of public law but has a particular interest in, and experience of, cases in an education law context.

Mark has been instructed as junior counsel in a series of judicial review challenges brought against schools for the excessive use of isolation booths to sanction pupils. These cases have received significant media coverage, including from the Guardian. Mark also recently acted as junior counsel in a judicial review challenge concerning the rebrokerage of an academy which centred on alleged breaches of Article 9 and Article 2, Protocol 1 of the ECHR (the case settled shortly before the rolled-up hearing). Mark is currently instructed as sole counsel in proceedings being prepared against a local authority for failing to fulfil the requirement for full time education in s.19(3A)(a) of the Education Act 1996.

In addition to litigation, Mark regularly advises on public law matters with an education element. He has recently provided advice on matters including grammar school independent admission appeals, the establishment of a Further Education college, and the legal implications of a merger of two separate schools.

Commercial Law

Mark has been instructed in a number of commercial and company law matters, in addition to his employment law cases which cross-over with these areas.

For example, he recently advised a large organisation on a complex contractual dispute worth over £100,000 which engaged issues of incorporation, variation, and estoppel; advised a brokerage firm in relation to a claim for a debt worth over USD 50,000 that centred on the implication of terms; and, acting for a major energy supplier, succeeded at trial in having the claimant’s claims for breach of contract dismissed in their entirety.

Qualifications

Before coming to the Bar, Mark read Classics at Jesus College, Oxford where he received several academic honours, including the Holbrooke Scholarship, the Viscount Sankey Scholarship and the William Montgomerie Prize for Greek Philosophy. At City University, Mark completed the GDL (Distinction, fifth overall and first in Public Law) and the BPTC (Outstanding) as a Bedingfield Scholar of Gray’s Inn, the top merit-based award. He was also awarded the Michael Beloff QC Administrative Law Essay Prize by Gray’s Inn for his piece on reform of the Human Rights Act 1998. Prior to commencing his legal studies, Mark completed a 12-week Mandarin Chinese course at Beijing Language and Culture University.

In his spare time, Mark enjoys rock climbing, cycling and theatre.

Mark is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

Privacy Notice

Mark is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to his clients, including advice and representation services, Mark needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes his client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which he is instructed. To read Mark’s privacy notice in full, please see here.