Mark Watson

Call 2011

“Mark displays the key characteristics a solicitor needs; accessibility, diligence and a passion. A great advocate with a bright future.” Instructing solicitor.

Instructing solicitor.

“Mark is a really strong junior barrister he is easy to work with as a solicitor and always well-liked by clients. He has strong analytical skills and attention to detail combined with a persuasive court room manner means that he is great with complex paper heavy cases.”

Instructing solicitor.

“Mark is one of the most talented juniors at the Bar I’ve worked with. His attention to detail, forensic approach to complicated evidence and very persuasive advocacy is invaluable”

Instructing solicitor.

“an exceptional character with a library of knowledge. He is thorough in his approach and incredibly hard working in trying to get the best result. Through the whole process he demonstrated unbelievable determination in organising the​ case and never left a stone unturned.”

2017, testimonial from Defendant.

Expertise

Mark’s practice includes attempted murder, violence, arson, serious drug matters often involving modern slavery and firearms offences.

Mark is often instructed in cases which involve complicated sources of evidence such as cellsite, forensic analyses and mobile phone material. His meticulous approach is invaluable in these cases.

Notable Crime cases


Operation Nines [2021] Wood Green Crown Court.

The Defendant, a well-known Grime artist, was alleged with other to have been involved and a well-established and long-running conspiracy to supply drugs. After legal argument and application, the Defendant was acquitted and a formal verdict of Not Guilty entered when the Crown offered no evidence. Junior alone.

Operation Florida - Newcastle Crown Court.

The Defendant was part of an alleged conspiracy, stretching across the north of England, supplying large quantities of class a drugs and vast sums of money. Led Junior.

Operation Woozles [2020-21] Harrow Crown Court.

Allegation of large-scale Conspiracy to commit Burglary, heavily reliant upon mobile phone analysis and cellsite evidence. After issues were raised regarding the cellsite evidence and what the Crown’s evidence actually could demonstrate, the Crown reviewed its case and offered no evidence. Junior alone.

Operation Avon [2020] Leeds Crown Court.

Allegation of large-scale drugs conspiracy heavily reliant upon mobile phone analysis and cellsite evidence. Represented the second Defendant as Junior alone.

Operation Sega II [2020] Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The Defendant faced a number of charges at trial involving possession of cocaine and allowing his premises to be used for the sale and distribution of GBL. The Defendant had previously pleaded guilty to other possession matters. The Defendant was acquitted by the jury of allowing his premises to be used for the sale and distribution of GBL and the jury were unable to agree on it’s verdict in relation to possession of cocaine. The Crown offered no evidence following this and a formal Not Guilty verdict was returned. The Defendant received a conditional discharge in relation to the previous possession matters. Junior alone.

Operation Kingmaker [2020] Reading Crown Court.

Mark was instructed as Junior Counsel defending an allegation of Attempted Murder involving firearms. The case involved vast amounts of mobile phone and cellsite analysis. BBC News, Get Reading and Somerset Live.

Mark is regularly instructed in matters relating to high value fraud, cheating the revenue, money laundering, and related financial misconduct.

Mark is regularly instructed to advise pre-charge and is experienced in advising in relation to ongoing investigations and LPP-related issues.

Mark’s expertise and experience is invaluable in cases where criminal offending has arisen from taxation disputes with HMRC, and  similar, related issues.

Notable Business Crime & Fraud cases


Operation Hairball 2 [2020] – Sheffield Crown Court.

Mark represented the third Defendant in a case involving allegations of very high-value evasion of Excise Duty and the distribution of counterfeit cigarettes. This is the largest commercial counterfeit cigarette and hand rolling tobacco production line discovered in the United Kingdom to date. Case prosecuted by HMRC. Junior alone.

R v M & Others [2021-2022] Harrow Crown Court.

Representing the first Defendant in an allegation of conspiracy to commit arson. The Defendant, a restaurant owner, is accused of conspiring with others and engaging them to set his business on fire for him to claim the insurance money. Junior alone. Case ongoing

Op Isidor [2018-2019]

Representing a director of a company in relation to allegations of mortgage fraud and money laundering. The allegations arose from an investigation by Greater Manchester Police’s economic crime unit into the activities of an organised group who had been laundering the proceeds of criminal activity, including drug-dealing, tax evasion and mortgage and property fraud. Led junior.

Operation Electron [2019]

Representing a director of a company in relation to allegations of VAT fraud and Fraudulent Trading offences brought by HMRC and Trading Standards relating to the supply of diesel and biodiesel in Sussex. Led Junior. BBC News (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-49786940), Mynewsdesk (https://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/hm-revenue-customs-hmrc/pressreleases/organised-crime-gang-sentenced-for-ps3-dot-5m-fuel-fraud-2925326), Kent Online (https://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/news/bentley-driving-bootleggers-3-5m-fraud-213068/) and Romford Recorder (https://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/romford-man-jailed-3-5m-organised-crime-gang-fuel-fraud-3234034)

Operation Nike [2018] – Manchester Crown Court.

Case involving allegations of money laundering and large cash seizures conducted by officers from HMRC. Junior alone.

R v JP & Others [2018] – Isleworth Crown Court.

Fraud, money laundering and other dishonesty offences – Led junior for General Manager of company used for fraud on the Director’s Loan Account and related offences. Junior Alone. Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times (https://www.hillingdontimes.co.uk/news/16232740.fraud-offences-amounted-six-figure-sum/) and My London (https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/fraudster-gave-himself-bonuses-pay-14670946)

Mark is regularly instructed in case prosecuted by Trading Standards, Local Councils, and related agencies, for allegations relating to financial misconduct or similar offences.

Notable Criminal Regulatory cases


London Borough of Hillingdon v GC and AC – Isleworth Crown Court.

Mark is instructed to represent to first Defendant in serious allegations relating to fraudulent trading over a period of three years. Case ongoing.

Operation Electron [2019]

Representing a director of a company in relation to allegations of VAT fraud and Fraudulent Trading offences brought by HMRC and Trading Standards relating to the supply of diesel and biodiesel in Sussex. Led Junior. BBC News (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-49786940), Mynewsdesk (https://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/hm-revenue-customs-hmrc/pressreleases/organised-crime-gang-sentenced-for-ps3-dot-5m-fuel-fraud-2925326), Kent Online (https://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/news/bentley-driving-bootleggers-3-5m-fraud-213068/) and Romford Recorder (https://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/romford-man-jailed-3-5m-organised-crime-gang-fuel-fraud-3234034)

Mark has experience acting for Defendants in cases involving the seizure and forfeiture of large quantities of cash, brought by HMRC.

Mark is regularly instructed to represent registrants throughout all stages of proceedings brought by their professional regulators such as the General Dental Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Mark’s professional experience is invaluable when dealing with allegations relating to dishonesty and similar misconduct.

Mark is regularly instructed to represent registrants, before their regulatory body, at all stages of proceedings.

Notable Professional Regulation cases


GDC v MB

Mark represented the registrant in proceedings brought by the GDC before the Professional Conduct Committee. Lincolnshire Live (https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/local-news/dishonest-former-boston-dentist-struck-1450599) and the Lincolnite (https://thelincolnite.co.uk/2018/04/boston-dentist-struck-off-for-practising-while-uninsured/).

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