Skip to main content

Mark Florida-James


BSB Barristers’ Register

Mark has practised criminal law since being called to the Bar 23 years ago, principally defending.

As Senior Crown Advocate he prosecuted (as sole advocate or leading junior) multi-handed conspiracies (drugs, fraud, burglary) and many other serious crimes (murder, rape, historic sexual offences and people trafficking etc.).

He has defended as sole advocate in trials of the most serious offences, including terrorism at the Old Bailey, manslaughter, blackmail, kidnapping, people trafficking, conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to commit GBH.

He has been leading junior in large drugs cases and junior in several murders, as well as defending at court martials for desertion, fraud, indecent assault and driving offences.

Mark has over 50 appearances in the Court of Appeal (sentence, conviction and renewed applications for leave, and two AG references for unduly lenient sentences, which he successfully defended).

He was junior in the House of Lords, arguing the case on racial aggravation as sole advocate in the Court of Appeal (R v Rogers).

He successfully challenged the imposition of a sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection  (R v  Dalton).

Mark’s recent successes include;

R v M – Defendant acquitted of Section 18 inflicting grievous bodily harm at Portsmouth Crown Court

R v H – Defendant acquitted of Section 18 wounding and kidnap at Southampton Crown Court

R v B – Successful acquittal in false imprisonment and assault offences at Bournemouth Crown Court

R v R  – Defendant acquitted after attempted kidnap charges at Southampton Crown Court

R v S – Successful acquittal for defendant charged with blackmail offence at Southampton Crown Court

R v M – Taxi driver acquitted at Portsmouth Crown Court of racially aggravated offences and saves his licence

R v E – ex British soldier acquitted at Southampton Crown Court of inflicting GBH – as a result able to return to family abroad

R v E – student acquitted at Southampton Crown Court of affray able to continue studies and career

R v S – following successful appeal the sentence was slashed by 60 % avoiding deportation allowing the client to stay with his family

Regulatory and Local Government

Mark is a specialist at defending in cases where clients have been prosecuted by local authorities.

He has recent experience advising and representing clients in major regulatory, Trading Standards & environmental cases. He appeared in the leading sentencing authority of Bairstow on environmental offences. 

His affable nature and attention to detail have made him very popular with a number of clients.