Mark Milliken-Smith QC

Year of Call: 1986  Silk: 2006  Recorder: 2004  


Mark Milliken-Smith QC is recognised by Chambers UK and The Legal 500 as a ‘leading silk’ in Crime, Financial Crime, Business and Regulatory Crime (including Global Investigations), Professional Discipline and Sport.

A trial lawyer with extensive experience as advisor and advocate across a wide range of criminal, commercial and regulatory matters. Mark regularly advises corporate and individual clients nationally and internationally pre and post charge, in criminal as well as quasi-criminal matters, including bribery, corruption, money laundering, restraint, market abuse, insider dealing, match fixing and murder & manslaughter.

He has a significant and high profile sports law practice in cases before the disciplinary arms of sport governing bodies, and is a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board Cricket Discipline Commission. He acts for national governing bodies, touring international teams, and individual athletes. Mark’s practice also benefits from a substantial regulatory and disciplinary practice before, inter alia, financial services and healthcare regulators.

Mark frequently represents well known individuals including politicians, City professionals, and sports and media personalities. He has extensive experience in the field of reputation management, greatly advantaged by his specialist expertise in the sports, financial regulatory and general crime arenas. His strategic know-how and method regularly enables a speedy, unobtrusive and effective resolution.

Recent Cases:

  • R v X&Y (2019) currently representing company directors charged with corruption arising out Grenfell Tower enquiries.
  • R v X (2019) successful defence of secondary school Headmaster in respect of multiple allegations of sexual abuse on Reception age children.
  • R v O (2019) successful defence in huge UK cocaine importation and distribution ring.
  • Advising international sportsman regarding misuse of social media (2019).
  • Standing Counsel to international rugby team on tour to UK (2018).
  • R v X (2015-18) advising banker LIBOR investigations resolved in the US with a NPA.

Public Access

Mark Milliken-Smith QC is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him.

In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme.

For further information please contact our clerks.



  • R v E (2019): defence of secondary school Headmaster in respect of multiple allegations of sexual abuse on Reception age children.
  • R v O (2019): defence in very significant UK cocaine importation and distribution ring
    – Advising professional sportsman being investigated for sexual offences (2019)
    – Advising solicitor facing internal investigation for sexual misconduct and social media breaches (2019)
  • R v G&M (2018): prosecution in complex unlawful act manslaughter
  • R v KT (2016): Prosecuted historical baby shaking manslaughter
  •  R v CD (2016): Defended in contract shooting
  •  R v MC (2016): Prosecuted 1970s music mogul in respect of historic sexual abuse
  • R v NC (2015): Defended in honey trap murder of professional West End gambler
  • R v AS (2015): Defended in largest international brothel and money laundering operation in UK
  • R v SZ (2014): Represented contract killer of leader of rival Turkish drugs gang in longstanding turf war.
  • R v DM (2013): Represented former MP in Parliamentary expenses fraud.
  • R v BW (2013): Defended in case of serial “acquaintance” rapes over 17 years.
  • R v BK (2013): Represented ringleader in Oxford child sex abuse ring.
  • R v AM (2012): Represented gang leader in attempted execution resulting in accidental shooting of five year old girl.
  • R v VP (2011): Defended in largest ever trial of police officers accused of fabricating evidence against the “Cardiff Three”.
  • R v AW (2011): Defended in sophisticated and longstanding cocaine importation ring from Caribbean.
  • R v JS (2011): Defended in largest ever mobile prostitution enterprise in UK.
  • R v MW (2011-2012): Represented Essex cricketer involved in spot fixing.
  • R v MM (2011): Represented players’ agent in Pakistan v England Lord’s Test match spot fixing scandal.
  • R v GS (2009): Defended in conspiracy to blackmail re. 6 year animal rights campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences.
  • R v MA (2008): Represented ringleader of the largest UK conspiracy to import, convert and dis-tribute firearms.
  • R v RM (2008): Represented upon appeal defendant convicted of 21/7 London bombings.



  • R v X&Y (2019): currently representing company directors charged with corruption arising out Grenfell Tower enquiries
  • R v K (2015-2018): advising trader at investigatory stage of DoJ/SFO/FCA enquiry into the alleged manipulation of LIBOR – ultimately the subject of a negotiated NPA in the USA
  • R v X Ltd (2017): advising directors of company after SFO raid in respect of a potential “dividend arbitrage” fraud, arising out of the double-tax treaties in place between Denmark, the US and Malaysia
  • R v B (2014-2017): HMRC prosecution of marketed tax avoidance scheme which exploited the tax relief available in respect of losses incurred on investments in the development and pre-production of British qualifying films – fraud in excess of £100 million
  • R v KS (2014): Defending in private prosecution arising from financial misconduct in East Africa resulting in losses of £23 million
  • Re X (2013-2015): Advising Middle Eastern Government in respect of corruption allegations pertaining to major state owned company
  • Re X (2013-2015): Advising trader in DoJ/SFO/FCA enquiry re. alleged manipulation of LIBOR.
  • SFO v PJ (2013-2014): Represented CEO of major PLC in corruption case involving bribery of company employees in Indonesia and Iraq.
  • SIPT v X (2013-2014): Advising major political figure in Turks & Caicos government corruption enquiry.
  • R v HR (2009-2012): Operation Inertia – alleged £160m VAT fraud (Carousel/MTIC) which HMRC described as “biggest ever case of its kind”.
  • R v MG (2012): Operation Vex: MTIC case involving European, Middle East and Asian network who defrauded HMRC on “…a gigantic scale”.
  • Re C (2012): advising pre-charge re substantial excise duty and VAT fraud) – successful Div Ct challenge to validity of search warrants.
  • R v JM (2012): Defended in complex “boiler room fraud”.
  • Re X PLC (2011): Acted for major PLC in respect of SFO investigation relating to the alleged Iraq Oil for Food scandal.
  • FSA v CR (2005): Represented PLC Chairman and CEO in first market abuse prosecution brought by FSA.

Professional Discipline


  • GMC v X (2015-2016): Advising General Practitioner re. alleged financial impropriety regarding management of practice
  • FCA v X (2015-2016): Advising trader formerly of major international bank re. alleged dishonest manipulation of the Euribor rate
  • GOC v RA (2013): Represented optometrist charged with serious malpractice.
  • ICAEW v X (2012): Represented chartered accountant charged with dishonest activities relating to the FSA.
  • GSCC v X (2010): Advised General Social Care Council in respect of the disciplinary proceedings against social workers arising from the tragic death of “Baby Peter”.
  • GDC v TD (2009): Represented dentist re. charges of sexual and professional impropriety arising from 9 year affair with dental nurse including allegations of sexual activity in presence of sedated patients.
  • GDC v Dr B (2008): Represented optician regarding plethora of allegations of misconduct and maladministration.
  • GMC v Dr E (2008): Represented surgeon re allegations of serious professional misconduct relating to membership of and downloading from child pornography websites.
  • GOC v Ebay (2006): Represented company against allegations of aiding and abetting sales upon their website, involving consideration of European Electronic Commerce Regulations.

Sports Law


  • (2019): advising international sportsman regarding misuse of social media
  • (2018): Standing Counsel to international rugby team on tour to UK
  • World Rugby v Joe Marler (2016): Representing both the RFU and Joe Marler in disciplinary proceedings in respect of racist insults made to Welsh opponent.
  • ICC v X (2015-2016): Advising international cricketers in respect of ongoing corruption allegations.
  • RBS 6 Nations v Pascal Pape (2015): Representing French captain at appeal arising out of Foul Play citing complaint.
  • RFU v Nathan Hughes (2015): Representing RFU in appeal by Player for striking another with his knee.
  • EPCR v Delon Armitage (2015): Defending in allegation of foul and abusive” language in European Champions Cup match.
  • FA v X (2013-2014): Advised professional footballers following their arrest following an investigation into spot-fixing in football by the National Crime Agency.
  • FA v AN (2012-2013): Represented agent charged with tapping up involving Championship and Premier League clubs.
  • British Horseracing Authority v MC (2013): Advised professional footballer re. serious breaches of the anti-corruption rules.
  • National Cricket Board v X (2013): Advised international cricketers in respect of high profile allegations of breaches of their touring Team Rules.
  • ECB v MW (2012): Represented Essex cricketer in disciplinary proceedings arising out of spot fixing scandal.
  • RFU v DA (2011): Represented England and London Irish rugby player regarding charges arising from post-match incident with Doping Control Officer.
  • RFU v ML (2009): Represented England and Bath rugby player day regarding intra-club cocaine and bullying scandal.
  • British Boxing Board of Control v X (2008): Represented boxing Promoter regarding various alleged breaches of BBBC Regulations re. his license, television rights and purses.

Directory Quotes

Criminal Law

  • “Mark is very, very experienced and really fantastic with clients. He has excellent judgement and is very good with judges, as well” Chambers UK Crime 2020
  • “The consummate professional: calm under pressure, prepared and fierce in his pursuit of his clients’ objectives.” Legal 500 2019 Crime
  • “He has a fantastic manner with clients and is very reassuring.” “He’s a go-to barrister for the really difficult cases.” Chambers UK Crime 2019
  • “Mark has a brilliant brain and is a barrister with an easy and polished manner who is a pleasure to watch in court.” Chambers UK Crime 2018
  • “A powerful guy to have on your team. He is very imposing and commands massive respect in court and with clients.” Chambers UK Crime 2017
  • “Hardworking, conscientious and knowledgeable, all in a user-friendly package.” Legal 500 2016 Crime
  • “An experienced and polished performer with a considerable private practice…a very bright advocate.” Chambers UK Crime 2016
  • “Simply superb.” Legal 500 Crime 2015
  • “He has great client care skills and he knows the briefs inside out immediately.” “He has a brilliant brain and he’s charming.” Chambers UK Crime 2015
  • “A master strategist, and a genuine pleasure to work alongside.” Legal 500 Crime 2014
  • “He is formidable in terms of his presence and the weight he brings to cases.” Chambers UK Crime 2014
  • The “fearless and brilliant” Mark Milliken-Smith QC is “absolutely going places” according to sources, who add that he has “loads of energy, lots to say, and a manner that is clear and to the point.” Chambers UK Crime 2013
  • “Highly recommended as very hard working and good with clients.” Chambers UK Crime 2012
  • “An all-round top-drawer criminal defence silk.” Legal 500 Crime 2012
  • “When handling a case he is truly unstoppable once in full flow” and he has “great client care skills.” Chambers UK Crime 2011

Financial Crime

  • A first-class performerChambers UK 2020 Financial Crime
  • “He has enormous experience of corporate and regulatory casesLegal 500 2020 Business and Regulatory Crime (including Global Investigations)
  • He provides clear advice in a sensitive mannerLegal 500 Fraud: Crime 2020
  • “An advocate with gravitas and keen commercial sense, he can explain issues in plain terms and knows what needs to be done. He’s just exceptional.” “He has very, very good judgement.” Chambers UK 2019 Financial Crime
  • “A very powerful advocate who is a big presence in court.” “A real intellectual who knows his papers inside out.” Chambers UK 2018 Financial Crime
  • “He cuts through complex issues very quickly and identifies the key strategic points at an early stage. There were unique delicate political dimensions to the case we were handling, and his advice was invaluable. The client loved him as he has great interpersonal skills, and he was very popular amongst our team as he has a relaxed yet authoritative way about him.” Chambers UK Financial Crime 2017
  • “His real gravitas in court commands respect.” Legal 500 Fraud 2016
  • “He has very polished client skills.” Legal 500 Fraud 2016
  • “Great with the clients, realistic and really hard-working. His advocacy is excellent.” Chambers UK Financial Crime 2016
  • “On big strategy issues he is calm and assured.” Legal 500 Fraud 2015
  • “He is utterly wonderful. He is client-friendly, hard-working and has a great track record. He is a clear favourite with us.” Chambers UK Financial Crime 2015
  • “A hardworking silk, who is very easy to work with and fast puts clients at ease.” Legal 500 Fraud 2014
  • “A real hard worker and a very good, sage presence to have on your team.” “He’s good at dealing with high-volume, intensive fraud work.” Chambers UK Financial Crime 2014
  • An “outstanding advocate” who is “tenacious in his case preparation.” A lawyer who “explores every possibility”, he is “very calm in court but robust with judges when necessary.” Chambers UK Financial Crime 2013
  • “An articulate and clever lawyer with a great jury manner.” Chambers UK Financial Crime 2012
  • “Really knows his stuff.” Legal 500 Fraud 2012
  • “Widely considered a joy to work with because of his gentle and approachable demeanour.” Chambers UK Financial Crime 2011
  • “Commercial, down to earth.” Legal 500 Fraud 2011
  • “His ability to put people at ease makes him particularly good at witness handling.” Chambers UK Financial Crime
  • “Impressively tenacious, quick thinking and adaptable.” Legal 500 Fraud 2010

Sports Law

  • Stands out for his impressive advocacy skills and first rate attention to detail and client care” Who’s Who Legal UK Bar Sports 2020
  • “Top quality – his cross-examination is a thing of beauty”  Chambers UK 2020 Sport
  • “absolutely outstanding, commercially minded and sensible, with a focus particularly in the fields of rugby and cricket” Who’s Who Legal UK Bar Sports 2019
  • “Highly intelligent, practical, easy manner and an excellent communicator.” Chambers UK 2019 Sport
  • He is absolutely excellent…he is extremely good with clients and he is a very persuasive advocate”. Chambers UK Sport 2018
  • Brilliant” in his advice and representation of clients before the disciplinary arms of sports governing bodies” Who’s Who Legal UK Bar Sports 2017
  • “Has great knowledge of the sports disciplinary system.” Chambers UK Sport 2017
  • “Highly intelligent, practical and an excellent communicator…a really good advocate.” Chambers UK Sport 2016
  • “Lovely to work with, consistently well prepared, and persuasive in his advocacy.” Legal 500 Sport 2015
  • “He’s very persuasive – being a criminal lawyer really helps him in disciplinary cases because he’s used to the cut and thrust of witness handling.” Chambers UK Sport 2015
  • “A master strategist and a calming influence.” Legal 500 Sport 2014
  • “He is robust and a bit of a bruiser when you hit the right button.” Chambers UK Sport 2014
  • “An extremely thorough preparer of cases and an incredibly able advocate…absolutely brilliant with clients – if you want someone to put your client at ease, then he’s your man.” Chambers UK Sport 2013
  • “A man who does well in whatever he pursues” and “a well-respected and fair opponent” Chambers UK Sport 2012

Professional Discipline

  • “A first-rate brain with gravitas”  Legal 500 Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law 2020
  • “He has a fantastic manner with clients and he’s a great advocate.” Chambers UK 2019 Professional Discipline
  • A genuine street-fighter and heavy-hitter.” Legal 500 Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law 2018
  • “He works extremely hard, he has good judgement and an excellent advocacy style.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2017
  • “He’s excellent, he exudes friendliness and confidence. As a client you would know you are in safe hands. He’s a red-hot lawyer.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2017
  • “A powerful personality to have in your corner.” Legal 500 Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law 2016
  • “A superb choice for professionals accused of dishonesty.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2016
  • “He has outstanding client care skills.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2015
  • “He is charmingly persuasive.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2014
  • “a formidable opponent in regulatory and disciplinary matters”, and is “very bright and diligent, with an approach that can really add value.” Legal 500 Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law 2013
  • “polite yet persuasive”, which, according to sources, plays very well with the Bench. “Tremendously thorough and clear in his approach.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2013
  • “increasingly a key player in the field…he is valued for very realistic approach and for being very impressive when making submissions.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2012
  • “clients praise him for having the courage of his convictions.” Chambers UK Professional Discipline 2011


Member of the England and Wales Cricket Board Cricket Discipline Commission.


  • LLB Hons, Bristol