Marc won the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award 2011. He was shortlisted for the same award in 2006.
He is ranked as a leading barrister in both Chambers and Partners directory and the Legal 500 in planning law.
"very helpful in pre-instruction discussions," and is lauded for his representation of Gypsies, travellers and Roma. Of late he has been involved in high-profile cases arising from the battle over Dale Farm.'
Chambers and Partners 2013
Marc specialises in the following areas:
- town and country planning law, with a particular emphasis on the representation of Gypsies, Travellers and Roma
- public and administrative law and
- human rights and discrimination.
Marc was called to the Bar in 1987 and is a member of Lincoln's Inn. He was called to the Irish Bar in 1992 and has been a registered pupil supervisor for more than 15 years. In 2008 Marc qualified as an accredited mediator.
Marc has appeared in many of the leading cases concerning the rights of Gypsies and Travellers and in 2011 he represented the Irish Travellers living on Dale Farm in their widely publicised judicial review challenge of the decision taken by Basildon Borough Council to use its direct action powers to evict them from their homes.
More recently, in July 2012, Marc represented the residents of the Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone when they challenged the Government's decision to place a high velocity missile system on the roof of their tower block as part of the air defence plan for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Marc is the co-editor and co-author of a book entitled Gypsy and Traveller Law which was first published by the Legal Action Group and the Commission for Racial Equality in 2004 (the second edition was published in 2007). Marc is also the editor of the Council of Europe's handbook for lawyers defending Roma and Travellers entitled Ensuring access to rights for Roma and Travellers (2009) - The role of the European Court of Human Rights. He is also one of the authors of the chapter on the rights of Gypsies and Travellers included in the book Your Rights published by Liberty, and is a regular contributor to Legal Action and other legal publications. Recently Marc helped write a critical review of the Conservative's new policy on Gypsies and Travellers, click here to view the article and he is also part responsible for a regular blog which appears on the Travellers' Times website. Marc also co-authored the paper entitled Facilitating the Gypsy and Traveller way of life in England and Wales throughthe courts (which was presented at the international conference Romani mobilities in Europe: Multidisciplinary perspectives, held in Oxford on 14 January 2010) and the article entitled Gypsies and Travellers in the United Kingdom and Security of Tenure which was published in the Journal of the European Roma Rights Centre in August 2010.
In 2011 Marc wrote two articles published in the Legal Action Group magazine on Roma Rights. Click here and here to view the articles and here to view an update.
Training and other activities
Marc has presented a large number of seminars on the law relating to Gypsies and Travellers for: the Legal Action Group; Shelter; the Gypsy and Travellers Law Reform Coalition; the Commission for Racial Equality, Planning Aid and other non-governmental organisations. Each year Marc also helps run a course held in Strasbourg on Roma Rights for the Council of Europe.
In addition Marc has presented a considerable number of seminars on human rights abroad: in 2003 he was instructed as an expert on the European Convention on Human Rights by the Council of Europe and travelled to Moscow to present a seminar, organised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - on the ECHR and its relevance for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers; in 2004 Marc travelled to Armenia to help conduct a five day training session organised by Interights and the Netherland Helsinki Committee for lawyers on the application of the Convention to cases arising within their own jurisdiction; in 2007 Marc travelled back to Russia to present a human rights course in Rostov on Don for the Council of Europe; in 2008 Marc visited Tbilisi in Georgia to present a course on religious and other forms of discrimination prohibited by the Convention; in 2009 Marc attended a conference organised by the Greek Ombudsman in Athens to speak on behalf of the Council of Europe about Roma Rights and the Convention and he also gave a key note speech at a conference in Vienna which was organised by the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency on protecting the freedom of movement and human rights of Roma; in 2010 Marc returned to Armenia to assist with the EU and Council of Europe's joint programme 'Support for Access to Justice in Armenia' and specifically with the development of a School for Advocates; in 2011 Marc attended a conference on Roma women in Budapest and was also present there to witness the unveiling of the European Union's Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies; in 2011 Marc also presented a seminar on Legal Aid and Access to Justice in Pyatigorsk in Russia to Chechen lawyers for the Council of Europe and was invited to represent the Council of Europe at a seminar on 'Gypsy Justice' at the American Bar Association conference in Dublin; in 2012 Marc was engaged by the Council of Europe and the European Union to work on its project relating to reform of the Russian civil appeals procedure and he gave a presentation on the English system in the Moscow Regional Court; in addition he was engaged by the Council of Europe to assist with the HELP e-learning programme and the creation of a website educational tool on anti-discrimination; in 2013 Marc's work on both the HELP programme and the Russian project continues.
Marc is regularly involved in drafting consultation documents on proposed government policy and legislation. Marc is also a trustee of Friends Families and Travellers (a charity working to promote the rights of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK).
Marc is a member of the Administrative Law Bar Association and the Planning and Environment Bar Association.
Mole Valley v Smith  3 PLR 22. Gypsies - Court of Appeal gave guidance on the grant of planning injunctions.
R v Lovick  Crim LR 890. A successful appeal against conviction involving an alleged conspiracy between a husband and wife.
Maidstone BC v SSE and Dunne  JPL 584. Gypsies - a planning case concerning the statutory definition of Gypsy status.
R v Basildon DC ex parte Clarke  JPL 866. Gypsies - a judicial review.
Coster v UK  33 EHRR 20. Gypsies - articles 8 and article 1 of protocol 1 of ECHR - one of the 5 cases considered by the ECtHR when it gave judgment in Chapman v UK.
R v Thomas Clarke  EWCA Crim 753,  JPL 1372. Gypsies - the scope of defence in enforcement notice prosecution.
R v Kearns  1 WLR 2815. A criminal appeal - article 6 of the ECHR - compulsory questioning - right to silence and presumption against self incrimination.
Gypsy Council v UK  Application no. 66336/01. A complaint to the European Court of Human Rights - article 11 of the ECHR - against the decision to ban a traditional Gypsy horse-fair in Horsmonden in Kent.
R (U) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and the Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 WLR 897. A successful judicial review concerning the final warning scheme's compatibility with article 6 of the ECHR.
R (Clarke) v Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions  EWCA Civ 819 and  JPL 1365. Gypsies - planning permission - a successful statutory challenge to a planning appeal decision in which it was established that the offer of bricks and mortar accommodation to a Gypsy with a cultural aversion to bricks and mortar could constitute a breach of Article 8 of the Convention.
Doncaster MBC v FSS and John Buck  EWHC 995 Admin. Gypsies
-planning permission - availability of education for children.
R (William Lee) v FSS and Dartford BC  EWHC 3235 Admin. Gypsies - proportionality - article 8 of the ECHR - temporary planning permission.
Basildon DC v FSS and Rachel Cooper  EWCA Civ 473. Gypsies - planning - a case concerning the statutory definition of Gypsy status.
R (Dartford BC) v FSS and William Lee  EWHC 2549,  JPL 546 Admin. Gypsies - planning - green belt.
R (Basildon DC) v FSS and Temple and Dennard  EWHC 2759 Admin and  JPL 942. Gypsies - planning - green belt and 'very special circumstances' test.
Coates v South Bucks DC  EWCA Civ 1378 and  JPL 668. Gypsies - planning injunction - article 8 of the ECHR and proportionality test.
Smith v FSS and Mid Beds DC  EWHC Civ 859. Gypsies - planning - the fear of crime as a material consideration and discrimination.
Wycombe DC v Wells  EWHC 1012. Gypsies - enforcement notices and the scope of the statutory defence in criminal proceedings.
Wilson v Wychavon DC and FSS  EWHC 2970. Gypsies and the compatibility of legislation providing for the service of stop notices with articles 8 and 14 of the ECHR).
South Bucks DC v Smith  EWHC 281. Gypsies - planning injunctions and the grant of a stay pending the determination of a fresh planning application.
R (O'Brien) v Basildon DC  EWHC 1346 Admin. Gypsies - a successful judicial review of a council's decision to take direct action - article 8 of the ECHR.
R v Billimore  EWCA Crim 506. A successful criminal appeal against major class A drugs conspiracy conviction in circumstances where fresh evidence had arisen which cast doubt on the veracity of the main witness for the prosecution.
Wychavon DC v Rafferty  EWCA Civ 628. Gypsies - committal for breach of a planning injunction.
R (Jeeves and Baker) v Gravesham BC  EWHC 1249 Admin. Gypsies - a successful judicial review of the non-determination of planning application by local authority.
Patrick McCarthy v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 3287. An Irish Traveller case - the Secretary of State's decision to refuse planning permission for a Gypsy site was upheld in circumstances where the decision maker had taken account of the risk that the grant of permission would set a precedent for future unauthorised development.
University of Oxford v Broughton and Others  EWHC 1233 QB. A case concerning restrictions placed on the right to legitimate protest - articles 10 and 11 of the ECHR.
Larkin v First Secretary of State  EWHC 2117. Gypsies - a decision to refuse temporary planning permission for a Gypsy site in the Green Belt was upheld.
R (Lisa Smith) v London Development Agency and SSTI  EWHC 1013 Admin. Gypsies and Irish Travellers - a judicial review challenge to the Compulsory Purchase Order of land used as a Gypsy site for the purposes of the Olympics).
McCarthy and Others v Basildon DC and the Equality and Human Rights Commission  EWHC 987. A judicial review challenge to a decision to take direct action to evict a large encampment of Irish Travellers living on Dale Farm without planning permission.
South Cambridgeshire DC v Harry Price and Others  EWHC 1234 Admin Gypsies - a local authority's application for a planning injunction was dismissed on grounds it would violate the article 8 rights of the defendant Gypsy families.
Secretary of State for Environment Food and Regional Affairs v Natalie Meier and Others  EWCA Civ 903. New Travellers case. The Court of Appeal gave guidance on the grant of wide possession orders and supporting injunctions to prevent land being occupied by trespassers).
South Cambridgeshire DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Julie Brown  EWCA Civ 1010. Gypsies - a local authority's application to quash a planning inspector's decision to grant a Gypsy family planning permission was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
R (Jordan) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 3307 Admin,  JPL 1010. A challenge to an Inspector's decision on grounds that she failed properly to take account of human rights when considering whether to grant temporary planning permission for a mobile home dwelling was dismissed.
Lushey Stanley v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 404. Gypsies - an Inspector's decision not to grant temporary planning permission for a Gypsy site was upheld.
R (McCann) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Basildon DC  EWHC 917 Admin. An Irish Traveller case - Inspector's decision challenged on number of grounds including the interpretation of the meaning of Gypsies and Travellers (Gypsy status) laid down by the government in Circular 1/06. Decision quashed on other grounds.
Wingrove and Brown v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Mendip DC  EWHC 1476 Admin. Gypsies - another challenge to an Inspector's interpretation of the meaning of Gypsies and Travellers laid down by the government in Circular 1/06 was dismissed.
Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs v Meier and others  UKSC 11. New Travellers case - the Supreme Court held that a wide possession order granted to the Forestry Commission in respect of land which it owned and occupied and of which no-one was, at present, in unauthorised occupation, should be discharged and in so doing, the Supreme Court also overturned the Court of Appeal's decision in this case and its decision in the earlier case of Drury v Secretary of State for the Environment  EWCA Civ 200.
Brent London Borough Council v Stokes  EWCA Civ 626. Irish Traveller case -the Court of Appeal refused an application for permission to appeal against the decision of Mr Justice King to uphold the County Court's decision to grant possession of land in circumstances where it had been decided that the Appellant's 'gateway (b)' defence did not raise seriously arguable grounds to dispute the claim for possession.
Community Law Partnership v Legal Services Commission (2010). A successful judicial review of the LSC's decision not to award CLP a housing contract in which Mr Justice Collins said: 'I am bound to say this is a dreadful decision and on the face of it the approach [taken by the LSC] is totally irrational.' The case was resolved when the LSC changed its decision and granted CLP a contract.
Doran v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Central Bedfordshire Council  EWHC Admin,  All ER (D) 174. Irish Traveller case - an unsuccessful challenge brought in respect of an Inspector's decision on the basis that he had failed to take account of the Claimant's personal circumstances and misunderstood and misapplied policy on the grant of temporary planning permission.
Patrick Egan v Basildon Borough Council  EWHC 2416 (QB). A case involving the Dale Farm site in which the Court considered the extent to which enforcement notices gave the Council the power to take direct action to remove unauthorised development on the site.
R (Mary Michelle Sheridan and Others) v Basildon BC  EWHC 2938 (Admin). Dale Farm. Unsuccessful judicial review challenge against the council's decision to take direct action to evict Irish Travellers from their plots on the site. The case was heard at first instance by Ouseley J and Lord Justice Sullivan refused a renewed application for permission made to the Court of Appeal.
Medhurst v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government EWHC 3576 (Admin). Gypsy planning case concerning the meaning of Gypsies and Travellers (Gypsy status) for the purposes of planning law and whether the definition in Circular 1/2006 was incompatible with Article 8 of the Convention.
Julie Smith v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Doncaster MBC  EWHC 963 (Admin). Gypsies - an unsuccessful challenge brought in respect of a planning inspector's decision to refuse temporary planning permission for a Gypsy site.
Harrow Community Support Limited v Secretary of State for Defence  EWHC 1921 (Admin). The highly publicised unsuccessful judicial review challenge of the decision to deploy a high velocity missile system on the roof of the Fred Wigg Tower in Leytonstone, London as part of the air defence plan for the 2012 Olympics.
Buckland v United Kingdom  Application No 40060/08, 18th September. The ECtHR found that the Article 8 rights of a Romani Gypsy had been violated in circumstances where she had not been given the opportunity to challenge the proportionality of a decision to seek possession of her rented pitch on an authorised site before an independent tribunal. The ECtHR awarded the applicant EUR 4000 in respect of non-pecuniary damages.
Linfoot v SSCLG and Chorley BC  EWHC 3514 (Admin). Gypsies - A successful statutory review challenge brought against a decision of a planning inspector to refuse a Gypsy family temporary planning permission - the Secretary of State has conceded that his inspector's decision was unlawful. Chorley BC did not agree and the case was heard in Manchester Admin Court.
Knowles v Department for Work and Pensions  EWHC 19 (Admin)
A judicial review challenge in which it was argued that the housing benefit regulations relating to the provision of housing benefit to those Gypsies and Travellers living on private sites were discriminatory and incompatible with Article 14 of the Convention (leading Desmond Rutledge).
Stevens v SSCLG and Guildford BC  EWHC 792 (Admin). Gypsies - an unsuccessful challenge brought in respect of a planning inspector's decision to refuse temporary planning permission for a Gypsy site. The Claimant argued that the Inspector had failed to take account of the best interests of the children in accordance with the principles laid down by Baroness Hale in the Supreme Court decision in ZH (Tanzania) v SSHD  UKSC 4. The Judge accepted that the principles were relevant but concluded that on the facts the Inspector had complied with those principles.
Stokes v UK  (Application No 65819/10). The Applicant claimed that her rights protected by Articls 6 and 8 of the Convention had been violated in circumstances where she had not been provided with full reasons for the decision taken to evict her from a local authority run site. The parties reached a friendly settlement and the UK agreed to pay the Applicant the sum of 2000 Euros
Profile updated April 2013