Mark Florida-James

Teams: Crime & Regulatory (General Crime)

Year Called: 1995

Inn: Inner Temple

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Law with German, Sussex University, MPhil, University of Wales, Diploma in German Law, Bonn University, Certified Civil & Commercial Mediator

Memberships: Western Circuit

Mark Florida-James has practised criminal law since being called to the Bar 22 years ago. In that time, he has almost exclusively defended apart from a four year period at the Crown Prosecution Service. As Senior Crown Advocate he prosecuted (either as sole advocate or leading junior) multi-handed drugs conspiracies, conspiracy to burgle, fraud conspiracy and many other serious crimes, including rape, historic sexual offences and people trafficking.

For the defence, he has appeared as sole advocate in trials of all the most serious offences, including terrorism at the Old Bailey, manslaughter, blackmail, kidnapping, people trafficking, conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to commit gbh and much more. He has acted as leading junior in large drugs cases and junior in several murders. He has defended in court martials in cases of desertion, theft and indecent assault. He has substantial recent experience advising and representing clients in major regulatory cases brought by Trading Standards, The Department of the Environment, City Councils etc.

Mark has appeared on almost fifty occasions in the Court of Appeal in appeals against sentence, conviction and renewed applications for leave, as well as two Attorney General references for unduly lenient sentences which he successfully defended. He appeared as junior counsel in the House of Lords, having argued the case on racial aggravation as sole advocate in the Court of Appeal (R v Rogers). He acted for the appellant in the leading sentencing authority of Bairstow on environmental offences.  He has successfully challenged the imposition of a sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) (R v Jamie Dalton).

Since the beginning of 2018 Mark has been successful in securing acquittals in the following cases:

R v CM (witness intimidation)

R v PW (possession of an offensive weapon)

R v KBH (45 year old allegation of multi-handed historic rape)

R v DL (theft by senior manager at multi-million pound contractor)

R v JS (section 18 – multi handed stabbing)

R v TO (section 18 – door supervisor inflicted a broken nose)

R v KM (gang rape of 16 year old by 4 teenage males)

R v KC (section 18 – MRSA infected injury leading to heart surgery)

Selected Reported Cases

R v M (MJ) [2017] EWCA Crim 877, AG’s Ref.

R v Thorn [ 2014] EWCA Crim 1811

R v Toleikis [ 2013] EWCA Crim 600

R v Bailey [2013] EWCA Crim 104

R v Omari-Cole [2013] EWCA Crim 1338

R v Dalton [2013] EWCA Crim 177

R v White [2012] EWCA Crim 961

R v Brookes [2012] EWCA Crim 1370

R v Bairstow [2011] Crim EWCA 2423

R v Freeman [2007] EWCA Crim 407

R v Rogers [2007] UKHL 8 (House of Lords)

R v Rogers [2005] EWCA Crim 2863 (Court of Appeal)

R v Bishop [2004] EWCA Crim 2956

 R v Shaw [2004] EWCA 1709

Attorney General’s Ref. No 70 0f 2003 [2004] EWCA Crim 163


By clients:

`Mark Florida-James was fantastic. It was such a pleasure working with him..’  MM

`Mark Florida-James is the best barrister I have ever had and I have had a few!’  EH

`Mark Florida-James .. if Carlsberg did barristers’  CS

By solicitors:

`Mark Florida-James is a very hard act to follow’, David Olden, Principal, Carlton Place Law

`Mark Florida-James is one of the few barristers I know who has all the skills. Great Client care, able to captivate a jury and superb intellect’, Ian Culley, Solicitor, CPS advocate for 30 years.

By judges:

`grounds of appeal’ were `attractively put’, R v White

`the arguments [were] put forward by Mr. Florida-James attractively both orally and in the short submissions’ Lord Justice of CoA, R v Toleikis

Previous experience

Prior to his call to the Bar Mark was a full time lecturer in law at Aberystwyth. He has worked as a German interpreter and translator and held part-time lectureships at Westminster University and City University. His research interests include all aspects of criminal law, the jurisprudence of the Nazi Regime and war crimes. He has written numerous academic articles and is the author of `Berlin Wolf’, a children’s novel set in wartime Germany. He is a fanatical scuba diver, diving instructor and rugby spectator.