Mark Whitehall

Mark Whitehall
Called: 1983
Ranked in Chambers UK Bar - Leading Individual The Legal 500 - Leading Individual 2014

Contact and Clerk


Clerks: Gareth Latchem


Mark’s practice is focused almost exclusively on Family Law as it relates to children. He represents parents and grandparents where disputes have arisen over where a child lives, how contact is to be arranged or when other aspects of a child’s upbringing are disputed. He represents Local Authorities, parents and Guardians in equal measure when children are subject to care or adoption proceedings.

Mark has many years’ experience undertaking criminal work, especially cases involving children and other vulnerable witnesses. Instructing solicitors have found this experience particularly useful when family proceedings run parallel with ongoing criminal investigations or proceedings.

He is qualified to undertake direct access work.

“His ability to filter complex facts is extremely impressive” Legal 500 2017

“He is a safe pair of hands; very measured and good at taking the heat out of fraught situations.” Chambers and Partners 2016

“He has a superb eye for detail” Legal 500 2016

“Experienced in children cases involving medically complex serious injuries”  Legal 500 2015

Private Law

In the field of private family law Mark is regularly engaged in residence and contact proceedings seeking child-focused solutions that are both sensible and workable in the modern family context. Consideration of ancillary issues such as injunctive relief, restricting parental responsibility where appropriate, financial support following family breakdown, or dealing with specific issues concerning a child’s upbringing are all part of his down-to-earth holistic approach.

Increasingly he is asked to advise and represent parents where one parent wishes to move permanently abroad with their child or to come to Britain. This can be either within the European Union where Brussels II R is engaged or further afield where the Hague Convention can be applicable. In Re H (A child) 2010 EWCA 915 he represented a Czech mother who was successful both in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in her wish to return permanently to her home country with her daughter.

As well as acting for parents he represents grandparents, step-parents and other family members seeking contact with children or seeking to become their special guardians.

Public Law

In the Public Law arena Mark is asked to represent parents, Local Authorities and Guardians in both care and adoption proceedings.

His experience with criminal proceedings has led to him being instructed in fact-finding hearings where serious criminal allegations and complicated medical issues arise. He represented the Local Authority in Devon County Council v EB and ors (Minors) 2013 EWHC 968 (Fam) where the genetic condition of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome came under close scrutiny as an explanation for injuries.

He represented the children’s Guardian in a long running case involving a premature baby who sustained injuries whilst in hospital, where the principal issue was whether the injuries were caused by hospital intervention, parental behaviour or were due to the natural consequences of prematurity.

Again he represented a children’s Guardian where a sibling group were found to have sustained injuries including salt poisoning resulting in hospitalisation due to deliberate parental action.
He represented a parent found to have caused injuries to her child in the context of Fabricated or Induced Injury (FII), where ultimately a family arrangement was approved by the court involving a safe ongoing relationship between parent and child.

He represented a parent who was found not to have caused fatal injuries to a child where the proceedings involved detailed consideration of Intra Cranial Haemorrhage and Axonal injury. As a result a sibling was reunited with the parent.

Direct Access

Mark accepts instructions from members of the public subject to the matter meeting the requirements of the Bar Council.  If you wish to instruct Mark please telephone the clerks on 01392 274898


1983 Inner Temple

Professional Memberships

Head of Chambers since 2012
Member of the Western Circuit
Member of Family Law Bar Association
Recommended in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 in children’s cases


Mark is married with 2 adult children. He lives and relaxes on Dartmoor.

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