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Mark McKone

Year of call:
University of Leeds LLB (Hons)
Inns of Court School of Law, London
Pupil at Sovereign Chambers with Geoffrey Marson
Tenant at Sovereign Chambers
Recorder of Crown Court with sex ticket
Sovereign Chambers becomes Park Square Barristers
North Eastern Circuit
Criminal Bar Association

Ranked in Tier 1 for Crime – The Legal 500 (2019)

“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)

“Has a strong track record in sexual offences cases, and is also recommended for multi-handed crimes, including fraud.” – The Legal 500 (2015)

Mark McKone practises exclusively in criminal law, appearing for the defence or the prosecution. His fields of specialism include serious sexual offences, fraud, and serious violence. He is a CPS Level 4 Prosecutor and serves on rape and serious-crime panels.

He is involved mainly in serious sexual offences and homicide or serious violence, including where very young children have been seriously injured and the case turns on complicated expert evidence.

He has accountancy experience and is also involved in fraud and money laundering. He has just finished a case where millions of pounds of drugs money was ‘cleaned’ through sham asbestos companies.

“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 is currently involved in a large scale drugs operation [Gale park] with numerous multi-handed trials taking place in 2018 and 2019, involving significant telephone evidence. He has been involved in huge drug importation by boat and plane cases.

“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)

Mark McKone has defended and prosecuted many professional people, such as teachers, care workers, scout masters, priests, Choir masters, nurses, physiotherapists, an international rugby player and prison officers charged with serious sexual offences and some violence.

He has also successfully defended a number of young students charged with serious sexual offences following drunken nights out. Many of these cases, involve allegations which go back decades. He has also dealt with many of these cases as a Recorder (part-time Judge). 

 Mark 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.

 Mark 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. Sometimes the pre-trial written work, especially agreed facts from unused material- has persuaded the prosecution not to continue.

Notable cases

  • Kevin Howe [2014] EWCA, Court of Appeal
  • Sentencing guidelines in assisted suicide
  • Mark  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.
  •  Mark recently successfully defended a French teacher [Millen] for allegations of sexual abuse on a trip to Paris decades ago.
  • Mark 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 has 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 recently prosecuted the murder of two Polish people [Bayford] and 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 on her husband’s life [Fairpo and others].

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

Elaine Foster-Morgan on 0113 213 5217

Robyn Nichol on 0113 213 5253

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