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Mark Heywood QC

"The consummate silk."Chambers UK 2019

Call 1985    Silk 2010

Practice Profile

Mark Heywood QC has been ranked as a 'Star Individual' in the Chambers UK Guide to the Bar since 2013 and is a recognised leader at the Bar. He was awarded the Chambers UK Bar Crime Silk of the Year award 2018.

Mark Heywood QC is a former First Senior Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court having held that post between 2015 & 2018. His practice is concentrated upon the most serious of criminal work that comes before our Courts, at the Central Criminal Court, Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Mr Heywood has considerable experience in cases of terrorism, large scale corruption, serious & organised crime and offences of homicide. He regularly provides advice to the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions on a range of matters, particularly those being considered by the appellate courts as well as other governmental departments. Other work includes advising upon matters concerning gross negligence manslaughter involving the medical profession and litigation involving the SFO and FSA. He also advises in matters where a private prosecution is sought. 

Cases have included the serial killer Levi Bellfield, Operation Crevice the longest running Old Bailey trial better known as the Fertiliser Bomb plot, Nicola Edginton the mental health patient convicted for the killing of an innocent bystander and the attempted murder of two others in Bexleyheath after a cry for help, the Supreme Court hearing of Gnango [2011 UKSC 59] on transferred malice/joint enterprise, and more recently Arthur Simpson-Kent who was sentenced to life for the muder of Eastenders actress Sian Blake and their two children. Recent defence work has included a murder trial in the Cayman Islands (R v.Sanchez).

Mark's Privacy Policy can be downloaded here.


  • 2001 - 2008 - Junior Treasury Counsel
  • 2005 - Recorder
  • 2007 - 2008  First Junior Treasury Counsel
  • 2008 - Senior Treasury Counsel
  • 2010 - Queen's Counsel
  • 2015 - 2018 - First Senior Treasury Counsel


  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association


Ex Airbus unit ordered to pay $42 mln over corrupt Saudi contracts

6 May 2021

Mark Heywood QC was instructed by the S.F.O to... Read More

Recent Cases

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Notable Cases

  • R v. Edgington [C.C.C.] 2013


    Mark Heywood QC prosecuted the trial of the mental health patient, Nicola Edgington, for the murder and attempted murder of two women in Bexleyheath.

    You can read more about this trial clicking Here

  • Operation Dowl [C.C.C.] 2018

    Suicide Terror Plot to Kill the Prime Minister

    Mark Heywood QC represented the Crown in this case involving the plot by two individuals to kill the Prime Minister. The plan was to detonate a bomb at the gates of Downing Street and then kill Theresa May with a knife or gun. 

    BBC report here.

  • R v. Armel Gnango [Supreme Court] 2011 UKSC 59 2011

    Appeal re: joint enterprise / transferred malice

    Mark Heywood QC along with Brian Altman QC represented the Crown before the Supreme Court on this leading authority regarding joint enterprise / transferred malice. The Supreme Court held, restoring Gnango's conviction for the murder of Magda Pniewska, that he was guilty of murder notwithstanding the fact that he had not fired the shot which killed Pniewska during the shoot out which led to her death, and that the fatal shot had been fired by his opponent in an attempt to kill him.

  • R. v. G; R. v. J [2009] UKHL 13; Archbold 2013: 25-67 2009

    Use of Articles for purposes of Terrorism

    Mark Heywood QC leading Ben Temple for the Prosecution at first instance, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords where David Perry QC was also instructed.

    J was found to be in possession of an extensive library of religious, political, ideological, military and extreme Islamist material some of which had an express terrorist purpose, digitally stored on his laptop, I-Pod, telephone and numerous digital disks comprising several hundred hours of audio and video material and several thousand pages of documentation.   J was charged with possessing articles for a purpose connected with terrorism, contrary to section 57(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000.  J pleaded guilty to four counts contrary to section 58 of the Act.  The Court of Appeal then handed down judgment in R. v. K [2008] EWCA Crim.185 on the point of reasonable excuse under section 58(3).  J, having applied successfully to vacate his pleas, claiming erroneous legal advice in the light of R. v. K, re-entered not guilty pleas at a preparatory hearing in the course of which the Recorder of Birmingham, regarding himself bound by R. v. K, ruled on a question of law formulated by the Crown that, by reference to R. v. K, under section 58 where a reasonable excuse is raised the prosecution must prove a terrorist purpose.

    Leave to appeal to the House of Lords was granted.  The three certified questions raised substantial, complex issues.  The concept of reasonable excuse had to be considered across numerous statutory contexts.  The Crown’s appeals (G and J) were allowed and J, a year after he had first done so, pleaded guilty to four offences contrary to section 58.

  • R v. Levi BELLFIELD [C.C.C.] 2008

    Prosecution of Serial Killer

    Mark Heywood QC together with the then First Senior Treasury Counsel, acted for the Crown in this prosecution of the notorious Serial Killer Levi Bellfield for the murders of the 22 year old French Student Amelie Delagrange and the 19 year old woman Marsha McDonnell as well as the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy. In 2011 Bellfield was convicted of the murder of Milly Dowler and sentenced to a whole life tariff. 

    Wikipedia entry here.

  • Operation Seagram [Woolwich] 2008

    Planned Car Bomb attacks

    Mark Heywood QC along with Jonathan Laidlaw QC conducted the prosecution of 2 NHS Doctors for conspiracy to murder by planning car bomb attacks in 2007 at London's West End Tiger Tiger Nightclub and at the Glasgow International Airport.

    BBC news report here.

  • Operation Crevice [C.C.C.] 2007

    'Fertiliser' Bomb Plot

    Mark Heywood QC along with David Walters QC and Duncan Atkinson prosecuted the longest running Old Bailey trial which concerned the "Fertiliser Bomb Plot" and conspiracies to cause explosions throughout the U.K.

    BBC news report here