Mark Harper QC
36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
Clerked by:Colin Griffin
Mark's Dispute Resolution Practice (see above) involves sports related disputes and his experience in this regard is illustrated by his representation of Sir Bradley Wiggins and (with Paul Chaisty QC) of Wayne Rooney in their disputes with their former management companies (see under Commercial Litigation). Mark's practice also encompasses providing advice and representation in relation to (a) proceedings before Sports Tribunals; (b) arbitrations; (c) challenges in the Courts to the disciplinary decisions of Sporting Bodies (including applications by disciplined clubs to be reinstated to competitions or leagues); and (d) contractual disputes between players and clubs etc.
MTC (UK) Ltd v Sir Bradley Wiggins  – represented Sir Bradley in defending the claim brought by his former management company for alleged breach of contract in terminating the management agreement and an account of commissions/payments due.
Proactive Sports Management Ltd v Rooney & Others  EWHC 1807 (QB) (restraint of trade in the context of an agreement between football player and agent)
Proactive Sports Management Limited v Rooney  EWCA Civ 1444 - (acting for Wayne Rooney (lead by Paul Chaisty QC) in successfully upholding the first instance decision that his Image Rights Representation Agreement was an unreasonable restraint of trade).
Bolton Wanderers FC v Middlesborough FC - Premier League Arbitration in relation to fees due following transfer of Michael Ricketts and construction of words "live Sky Games" in a transfer contract.
Hemmingborough Cricket Club v Yorkshire & District Senior Cricket League - acting on behalf of the League in opposing an application for an injunction and a claim for damages following the decision by the League to exclude the Club from the competition pursuant to the disciplinary procedures of the League.
Hunslett Warriors Amateur Rugby League Football Club v (1) National Conference League and (2) British Amateur Rugby League - acting on behalf of the Leagues in successfully opposing an application for an injunction by the club to be reinstated in the Leagues following their demotion pursuant to the disciplinary procedures of the Leagues.
A.J. Sullivan v St. Helens RFC -acted on behalf of the player in this contractual dispute with his club over an entitlement to a testimonial bonus.
Denis Betts v Wigan Rugby League Football Club - acted on behalf of the player/coach pre-litigation in a contractual dispute with his club.
Mark is a member of the Chancery and Commercial team in Chambers and has developed what is recognised as one of the leading litigation practices in these areas having in recent years been involved in some of the largest and most high profile cases to be heard in the Chancery and Mercantile Courts outside London including his representation (with Paul Chaisty QC) of Wayne Rooney in his successful restraint of trade challenge to this Image Rights Representation Agreement (see below) and his representation (in 2014) of Sir Bradley Wiggins in defending the claims brought by his former management company following his termination of their retainer.
His areas of specialism are Banking & Finance, Civil Fraud, Commercial Litigation, Company, Insolvency, Partnership, Professional Negligence and Sport.
As is evidenced by his “Recommendations” he is widely regarded (both by his peers and the solicitors’ profession) as one of the leading and most sought after juniors in his areas of practice.
He has been described as the “complete all-rounder” being equally adept at all aspects of the role of the advocate coupled with tactical and strategic acumen and an affable and approachable personality that commends him to his peers, solicitors and clients alike.
Year of Call: 1993
Year of Silk: 2016
Areas of Expertise
- Banking & Finance
- Civil Fraud
- Company (non-contentious)
- Dispute Resolution
- Professional Negligence
Legal 500 2017
‘A team player throughout the litigation process.’
Chambers UK 2017
"The speed at which he can turn things round is incredible. He is a great advocate who is quick at thinking on his feet, and his way with the judiciary is great." "He is fantastic."
"His reputation is excellent and he gives a first-rate service to clients." "He is very pragmatic, very user-friendly and very good on his feet."
"He's always a very safe pair of hands - excellent and good with clients, he is short and succinct in his advice, which goes down well." "He's a class above most and very good on his feet before a judge."
"An excellent trial advocate who excels at tough cross-examination." "He's always a very safe pair of hands. He's excellent, good with clients, and short and succinct in his advice which goes down well."
Chambers UK 2016
"A safe pair of hands and very commercial."
Recent work: Represented Travel Counsellors against Barclays Bank in claims alleging the mis-selling of an interest swap product and the improper deduction of 'fees' from accounts.
"An extremely capable lawyer and a very hard worker. He leaves no stone unturned in seeking out the detail of a matter and is confident in his own abilities. He has the hallmark of quality."
"Forthright, exceptionally commercial and gets straight to the nub of the issue - exactly what the clients want."
Chambers UK 2015
"He's pragmatic and very user-friendly, and his advocacy is also excellent."
"When you see that you're against him your heart sinks." "He's an astute tactician. He doesn't sugar the pill, and clients certainly appreciate that."
"He is quietly and efficiently effective."
"He is very quick at spotting the issues and distilling them down into simple advice and action."
Chambers UK 2014
"He always gives a consistent performance in court. He is softly spoken, measured and always gets on with judges - that's how he wins cases."-
"He provides a superb all-round service, combining strong technical skills with a personable approach. He is regarded as one of the best in his field in commercial litigation."
"He is very bright and effective – I would not hesitate to instruct him."
Legal 500 2014
"A must-go-to junior counsel"
Chambers UK 2013
“Mark Harper is a barrister with a strong commercial chancery practice. He focuses largely on unfair prejudice petitions. According to one interviewee: "You can drop him into any situation and he will rise to the challenge."
“Mark Harper receives praise for his "strong advocacy skills." He is especially adept at cross-examination as "he is able to identify and exploit weaknesses in his opponents to great effect. "He has notable expertise in matters such as shareholder and commercial disputes, professional negligence cases and restraint of trade matters”
“Mark Harper who is sought out by instructing solicitors for his experience in the asset finance sector. He is recommended “
Legal 500 2012
Mark Harper "has a broad commercial and chancery practice"
Chambers UK 2012
Mark Harper is praised as "client-focused" whilst having "a great mind for strategy." Peers admire him as "an impressive opponent who is a pleasure to be up against in court." -
Mark Harper is a "very personable" junior with an excellent reputation in this sector
Legal 500 2011
"A very competent draftsman and an extremely able advocate"
Chambers UK 2011
'An "outstanding junior" who has "a great personal touch with all manner of clients"
'The "first-rate" Mark Harper is another leading junior, and he earns praise for his "hard work, fine intellect and down-to-earth approach." He is particularly strong on banking and sports-related disputes.'
'Mark Harper is a market favourite.'
Chancery Bar Association
Northern Chancery Bar Association
Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association
“Can I have my deposit back please” (insolvency position where consumer deposits are used to fund insolvent companies)  6 CRI 225
“Fiduciary Duties owed to the excluded shareholder” (with Lesley Anderson QC) Law & Financial Market Review January 2013
Qualifications and Awards
Downing College, Cambridge – Law MA Hons (1989 – 1992)
Hardwicke Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)