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Mark Cunningham QC

Call 1980
Silk 2001


Mark is a litigator equally at home dealing with interlocutory matters, conducting trials and arguing in appellate courts, whether in the UK or abroad. He is comfortable and familiar with handling substantial cases, particularly where the facts and documents are complex and heavy.  He is an experienced and well regarded cross-examiner and notably effective where the honesty or integrity of the witness is in issue.

Mark regards himself as a specialist advocate and in particular a trial lawyer.  He has appeared in over 80 reported cases, covering a wide range of legal topics.  He is happy to appear in any tribunal, anywhere in the world: in recent years he has represented clients in the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal, all divisions of the High Court, the Crown Court, the Upper Tribunal, the First Tier Tribunal, the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal, the Copyright Tribunal, and having been called to the East Caribbean Bar in 2005, at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in Grand Cayman, and at first instance in the BVI.  Prior to taking Silk he had been on the Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (Chancery) and then on the Attorney-General’s A Panel.  He has been a DTI Inspector, conducting insider-dealing inquiries and was involved in the BSE Inquiry.  He is an accredited mediator.

Since taking Silk Mark has diversified his practice so as to embrace a wide range of private, regulatory and government work.  Though he welcomes unusual and “one-off” cases, his practice generally falls within the following areas of law:

  • Commercial Chancery
  • Company/Corporate Insolvency
  • Tax
  • Professional Conduct

Commercial Chancery

Notable cases include:

EC03 Capital v Ludsin Overseas: 2013 EWCA Civ 413.  Court of Appeal.  Deceit in relation to land development.

Prima Equity v West Bromwich Commercial: LTL 27.3.2013 Chancery Division.  Wrongful mortgage deductions.

The Estate of Jimmy Saville: Acting for Estate in ongoing dispute about distribution.

Fenris: 2012 Appeal re clawback claim, Grand Cayman

Fenris: 2011 High Court, Grand Cayman. Trial of clawback claim.

Company/Corporate Insolvency

Mark has substantial experience of company disputes.  He has acted in many of the major director’s disqualification cases (those involving Atlantic Computers, Blue Arrow, Astra, Norton, Allied Carpets and Terry Venables for example) and for both the Crown and individual directors.  He is also experienced in public-interest winding-up petitions.

Notable cases include:

SED Essex Ltd: [2013] EWHC 1583 (Ch) Randall QC Appointment of Provisional Liquidators following VAT assessments.

UKLI Ltd: [2013] EWHC  680 (CH) Hildyard J: Director’s Disqualification : Land banking.

S of S v Potiwal: [2012] EWHC 3723 (Ch) Briggs J.  Director’s Disqualification: MTIC fraud.

Instant Access Properties: [2011] EWHC (Ch) Floyd J.  Director’s Disqualification: acting for one of the defendant directors.


Mark is regularly instructed by, and against HMRC, principally in cases relating to MTIC fraud.  Cases include.

Anonymous: [2013] Acting for taxpayer in ongoing, and substantial, dispute about VAT in relation to carbon credits.

Blada Ltd: [2013] UT.  Security for costs in the Upper Tribunal.

Fonecomp Ltd: [2012] UKFTT 102 (TC). MTIC fraud

Mobilx Ltd: [2010] EWCA Civ 517.  Court of Appeal.  The leading MTIC case.  Mark led a Team of 6 Counsel instructed by HMRC.

Megtian Ltd: [2010] LTL 15/1/2010 Briggs J.  MTIC fraud.

Professional Conduct

Mark has been regularly instructed by the SRA in recent years and has prosecuted a number of cases in the SDT and on appeal.  Notable cases include:

SRA v Suleiman: 10177 - 2009
SRA v Ghauri: 10688 - 2010
SRA v Advani: 10865 – 2011
SRA v Fuglers: 10917 - 2012
SRA v Marshall: 10826 - 2011
SRA v Schools: 10968 – 2012
SRA v Organ & Ors: 11080 – 2012

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Mark will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Mark accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.


BA (Oxon)


Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial
"Mark is a real pleasure to work with and is very thorough and hard-working. He's also able to devour mountains of evidence and get straight to the heart of the issues, and he's confident in the advice he gives. He is a true team player and is very approachable, a careful listener and actively encourages discussion and debate. He always has an eye on the end goal. He's also extremely client-friendly is very able to adapt his style to suit his audience." (2021)
"He's an excellent chancery silk, providing pragmatic advice." (2020)
"Does a really, really fine job. He has quite a forensic approach to his cross-examination and is good on his feet. He also has very good client skills, and puts people at ease." "His advocacy style is attractive and he has the ear of the judge." (2019)
"A very experienced advocate who can take flak from the judge and hold his ground." "He has an air of quiet authority and doesn't waste words, so that means you listen." (2018)
"He is a very effective advocate and an aggressive cross-examiner. He's very practical." (2017)

"He is effective in court and a good cross-examiner."

"He is very responsive and very eager." (2016)

"He is a top-rate advocate, able to deal with complex tax and fraud matters."

"He is a no-nonsense, straight-talking practitioner with excellent advocacy skills." (2015)

"Is renowned for his skill in the commercial arena generally."

"Sources praise his client service, particularly referencing his accessibility and his speedy turnaround time." (2014)

"Extremely user-friendly, very responsive, and someone who is quick at turning around papers." (2013)

"Measured yet extremely effective." (2012)

"Quiet yet devastatingly effective approach to advocacy." (2011)

Legal 500 UK

Company & Partnership

"A practical and confident advocate, who is personable and easy to work with." (2015)

"Puts both solicitors and clients at ease and is a tenacious advocate, but in a charming way." (2012)

"Good client care skills, thorough preparation and highly effective performance at trial." (2011)

Chambers Global, 2020

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery