Mark Phillips KC

KC1999, Called to the Bar 1984

Mark Phillips KC is an experienced Silk. A KC(QC) for 25 years (at the Bar for 40).  Legal500 said: ‘Vastly experienced, quite probably the most so in the insolvency and restructuring space. Pragmatic and no-nonsense barrister, comes to a clear view and gives advice rather than just pointing out risks.’  Mark has appeared in courts at every level and in several jurisdictions.  He successfully represented liquidators in the Hong Kong Court of Appeal establishing that ‘Keepwell Deeds’, running into US$ billions, gave rise to provable debts against Chinese entities.

His clients have included the Governor of the Bank of England, UEFA and the Football League as well as liquidators, directors, sportsmen (including Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Lewis Hamilton) and premier sports clubs. He was named as Chancery Silk of the Year by Legal 500 in 2023 and Company/Insolvency Silk of the Year by Chambers and Partners in 2018.  This year he is shortlisted as Barrister of the Year by the Lawyer.

In his autobiography “Calling the shots” David Dein, formerly the Vice Chairman of Arsenal, says of Mark “We retained the brilliant Mark Phillips QC. He really does have two brains! (As already mentioned, he went on to play a significant part in the legalities when we formed the Premier League.)”

Mark operates at the highest level, winning complex cases in the highest courts. His first appearance in the Court of Appeal was at the start of his practice in 1986 in the ground-breaking case, West Mercia Safetywear v Dodd. Subsequently, he has led or has appeared in many cases in the House of Lords and Supreme Court including the Lehman’s Pensions appeal, Toshoku Finance, Paramount Airways, Leyland Daf, Sher v Policyholders Protection Board and Three Rivers District Council v the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

Mark is especially well known for his tenacity in cross examination and resilience during long trials. He successfully defended the Bank of England in a two-year trial against the claim made arising out of its regulation of BCCI (which included the longest speech in English legal history) – the claim was dismissed with indemnity costs.  He also defended the GT Liquidators in the Saad fraud trial that lasted for 129 days in Court over 12 months (the longest trial in Cayman history) – the claim against his clients was dismissed.

Mark also has a high-profile sports law practice. He was involved in the establishment of the Premier League for the “big 5 clubs”. He has appeared at several disciplinary and regulatory hearings. He prosecuted Manchester City on behalf of UEFA, and Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County on behalf of the Football League and has appeared for Lewis Hamilton in relation to several matters including the “Ferrari Gate” hearing. He has assisted with the future of football regulation and the EFL’s covid task force.

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