Mark McKone KC

Mark McKone KC
Year of call:

1988 · Silk 2021


1987 - University of Leeds LLB (Hons)

1988 - Inns of Court School of Law, London


1988 - Pupil at Sovereign Chambers with Geoffrey Marson

1989 - Tenant at Sovereign Chambers

2012 - Recorder of Crown Court with sex ticket

2015 - Sovereign Chambers becomes Park Square Barristers

2021 - Silk


2023 - North-Eastern Circuit Representative of Lincoln’s Inn


North Eastern Circuit

Criminal Bar Association

Ranked in the 2024 edition for Crime in Chambers & Partners and Tier 1 in The Legal 500.

“”Mark McKone is an exceptional advocate, capable of dealing with the most complex of cases.” – Chambers and Partners (2024)

“He is concise and very precise in his approach.” “He is without doubt one of the most thorough, engaging and personable barristers at the Bar. His presentation of his cases is first class.”  “He is very thorough and has a lovely manner. He is a very effective cross-examiner.” – Chambers and Partners (2021)

“A compelling advocate, a consummate professional and a joy to work with.” – The Legal 500 (2021)

“He is a quality operator, he does the job and does it well.” – Chambers and Partners (2020)

“He has great flair before a jury.” – The Legal 500 (2019)

“Defends and prosecutes across a range of criminal matters.” – The Legal 500 (2017)

Mark McKone KC practises exclusively in criminal law, appearing for the defence and the prosecution and as a part-time Class 2 Crown Court Judge.

His fields of specialism are homicide, serious sexual offences and money laundering. He serves on the rape and serious-crime panels.


Mark McKone KC has prosecuted many multi-handed murders in silk, with complicated joint enterprise issues. This includes R v M & others] (for news coverage click here) and Qayum and others [6 people charged with a revenge machete attack]. For news coverage of this case click here

He has recently been involved in many murders where the issue is a partial defence of diminished responsibility, including where the defence {Ainsley] was based only on a personality disorder and supported only by a psychologist.

He has recently defended a cut throat murder [Burey] with complicated neuropathology evidence, bad character and joint enterprise issues. This involved extensive consultations with the defence neuropathologist, Dr Brian Herron.

Recent cases include the murder of two Polish people [Bayford], a murder during a robbery gone wrong [Heaton] and a conspiracy to murder, where a life insurance policy had been taken out by a woman and her boyfriend on her husband’s life [Fairpo and others].

Mark McKone KC successfully defended a man called Nrapia in 2018 on three counts of attempted murder by shooting in a drug related case. He has been in three separate drug related attempted murder trials in 2018, including ‘County lines’ drug dealers.

He prosecuted the first two assisted suicide cases [Howe and Caller], since CPS issued guidelines on prosecuting these cases. He was involved in the Court of Appeal sentence appeal in Howe where the Lord Chief Justice issued sentencing guidelines. He has had significant experience in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

He conducts cases involving serious violence, including where very young children have been seriously injured and the case turns on complicated expert evidence. In 2020, he defended in Flynn where three babies suffered significant fractures.

Serious sexual offences

Mark McKone KC has defended and prosecuted many professional people, such as school teachers, the owner of a boarding school, university lecturers,  care workers, scout masters, priests, choir masters, nurses, physiotherapists, an international rugby player, a Bolivian classical music composer, soldiers and prison officers charged with serious sexual offences and some violence. Many of these cases, involve allegations which go back decades and have included paedophile rings.

He has also successfully defended a number of young students charged with serious sexual offences following drunken nights out.

He defended in four trials in 2017 and 2018 brought under Operation Polymer where carers and teachers in children’s homes were prosecuted for grave sexual offences on children in their care decades ago. The complainants were career criminals who had answered adverts to claim compensation from the local authority. Successful outcomes were achieved by a meticulous comparison of the complaints to the Police with the County Court papers so as to expose significant inconsistencies and by the painstaking obtaining of and analysis of undermining unused material from prison, social services and medical records.

He has a lot of experience in cross-examining very young child witnesses, including pre-recorded cross-examination.

He successfully defended the head of Predator Exposure charged with the false imprisonment of paedophiles.

He has been briefed to prosecute 42 defendants for grooming and raping teenage girls.

Money Laundering

Mark McKone KC has studied accountancy and worked for an accountant. He has much experience in money laundering trials, particularly laundering money through sham businesses and POCA confiscation hearings.

He has just finished a case where millions of pounds of drugs money was ‘cleaned’ through sham asbestos companies.

He has recently completed the prosecution of two large scale drugs operations [Operations Galepark and Ennendale] with numerous multi-handed trials taking place, involving significant telephone evidence. He has been involved in huge drug importations by boat and plane cases.

He recently prosecuted 2 Police officers for perverting the course of justice by concealing evidence.

He is currently involved in the early stages of prosecuting public officials in Montserrat for financial crimes.

Mark McKone KC has a reputation for very early preparation, for being very hard working and for being approachable. He appreciates the importance of an early advice on evidence, including using the right expert and of conferences, so that all involved in the case are kept informed and able to contribute to the case.

He advices on the instruction of experts, including setting out specific questions for the expert. He meets with his experts so that the expert can make sure that cross-examination of the opposing expert is effective.

He appreciates the importance of written advocacy as well as spoken advocacy and he has much experience of preparing written documents which will persuade the Judge to allow cross-examination on bad character and previous sexual history, where this appropriate. He also vigorously persues the disclosure and use of unused material which can undermine a prosecution case.

“Mark McKone’s plain speaking but attractive style of advocacy seems equally pleasing to judges and juries. A top notch jury advocate; one of the best.”

“He is an outstanding advocate, who is meticulous and thorough in matters of preparation. The quality of his advice is invariably of the highest order.” – Chambers and Partners (2016)

“He’s a very gifted, excellent advocate. He instils confidence in clients with his polished presentation in court.” – Chambers and Partners (2017)

“An excellent jury advocate, who can assimilate information quickly and accurately.” – The Legal 500 (2016)

Notable cases

  • Kevin Howe [2014] EWCA, Court of Appeal
  • Hall [2011] EWCA Crim 2757-Court of Appeal; applying modern sex guidelines to old offences.
  • Flynn [2020] – Court of Appeal. Sentencing for serious injury to babies.
  • Howe [2014]-Court of Appeal-assisted suicide sentencing guidelines.

Contact Mark’s clerks

Andrew Thornton on 0113 213 5202

Gina Hawkins on 0113 213 5205

Rebecca Wilson on 0113 213 5203

Hannah Dempsey on 0113 213 5211

Lucy Finney on 0113 213 5220


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