'Mark is extremely good and one of the best in arguing and winning cases on legal and technical grounds, and he is also one of the best when it comes to an overlap with extradition and family law proceedings.'
The Legal 500 2024 | Extradition.
Mark is a barrister specialising in extradition, international family and immigration matters. He has particular expertise in cases involving cross-border issues and parallel proceedings across multiple jurisdictions.
He is recognised within the Legal 500 for his work in international crime & extradition, immigration and family: Children. Mark is recognised in Chambers & Partners for extradition and immigration.
Mark has appeared in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, as well as the High Court Family Division in relation to international family matters and the Administrative Court in extradition proceedings.
“He's a really first-class immigration lawyer, who is razor-sharp, hard-working and a safe pair of hands, and has very good judgement.”
Chambers & Partners 2024 | Immigration.
‘Mark is very personable and exceptionally bright. He is hard working, with an eye for detail and excellent judgement. Mark is particularly knowledgeable in matters concerning extradition.‘
The Legal 500 2024 | Immigration.
“A very good advocate, both orally and in writing.”
Chambers & Partners 2024 | Extradition.
He is an experienced extradition practitioner and regularly appears in the High Court (Admin) in relation to extradition appeals. He is instructed in relation to both import and export extradition, concerning request from both EU states and Part 2 countries.
Mark is an international family specialist and appears in child abduction and permanent relocation proceedings before the High Court Family Division. He is also regularly instructed in private children and care proceedings, especially those involving an international element.
He is a key member of the 5SAH immigration team with experience encompassing Tier 1 and business visa applications, derivative rights applications under Appendix FM, the EU Settlement Scheme, and asylum proceedings.
Mark is currently instructed in immigration proceedings following an extradition request, and in an extradition matter with parallel family proceedings. Mark regularly advises on disclosure of documents between family and immigration or extradition proceedings.
Mark is Direct Access qualified and can be directly instructed by members of the public through Direct Public Access. Please contact the clerks at 5SAH if you would like to instruct him directly.
Professional Panel Appointments
- Attorney General's Panel of Counsel: C Panel.
- CPS Specialist Extradition Panel, Level 2.
'Mark is very diligent in his preparation of cases. He is also very committed to clients and goes out of his way to assist even post the hearing. He is very knowledgeable and has experience in private children's law matters.'
The Legal 500 2024 | Family: Children.
“Mark Smith is extremely good with legal, and especially technical, arguments. He is highly intelligent.”
Chambers & Partners 2024 | Extradition.
Mark is an experienced barrister in relation to extradition and international law proceedings. He regularly appears in extradition proceedings at first instance and on appeal in the High Court (Admin). Mark is has recently resisted a request for a police informant by the Czech Republic and a Bulgarian request for a government minister involving allegations of political corruption. Mark is currently instructed in a Norwegian extradition request under Part 2 of the Extradition Act 2003.
Mark specialises in international family law. Mark recently appeared in an application for contact where there was a risk of the child being abducted to Poland, advised on the enforcement of child arrangement orders in Belarus, and appeared in a High Court application for a passport seizure order where there was a risk of the child being abducted to Bangladesh.
Other recent cases include child abduction proceedings in relation to Malta and Germany where Mark has advised on the interplay with parallel asylum applications, and applications to recognise foreign adoption orders from Nigeria and Singapore.
Mark is currently instructed in an application for permanent relocation from the UK to Switzerland and in wardship proceedings where the children were wrongfully removed from Pakistan and there is a parallel UK asylum appeal.
Mark recently appeared in wardship proceedings brought by a local authority where the children had been removed to Lebanon, care proceedings where the court exceptionally considered wardship as an alternative to an interim care order, an application for permission to oppose an adoption order, and High Court proceedings where a teenager was sectioned under the Mental Health Act to ensure appropriate assessment for learning difficulties. Mark is currently instructed in care proceedings before the High Court where the child was born in Italy and jurisdiction is disputed.
Mark appears in immigration and associated judicial review proceedings. Mark recently advised on a judicial review involving a foreign ex-government minister who had previously been granted political asylum and successfully appealed the Home Office’s decision to refuse his client’s asylum claim made on the basis of genuine fears of honour-based violence on return to Pakistan. Mark is currently instructed in a Tier 1 (Investor) application involving a complex loan scheme, and an application for leave to enter from Nicaragua.
Mark has experience of judicial review proceedings and advises on a wide range of public law issues. Mark has recently advised on judicial reviews involving applications for ILR, visit visa applications, asylum support, and Turkish business visa applications under the Ankara Agreement.
- BPP Law School, BPTC.
- Oxford Brookes University, GDL.
- University of Oxford, MPhysPhil (Physics and Philosophy).
- Walter Wigglesworth Pupillage Scholarship.
- Kennedy Scholarship.
- Hardwicke Entrance Award.
- The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.
- Defence Extradition Lawyers’ Forum (DELF).
- Child Abduction Lawyers Association (CALA).
- Immigration Legal Practitioners’ Association (ILPA).
Cases of Note
AA v SSHD 
Instructed by SSHD as junior to KC in high-profile political asylum claim following Part 2 extradition proceedings. Complex and paper-heavy case against two KCs who called 7 expert witnesses over 13-day hearing.
M v Poland  EWHC 1351 (Admin)
Mark appeared in an extradition appeal in the Administrative Court considering overlapping immigration and extradition issues including the effect of extradition on a pending application for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
R (AK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department 
Mark appeared in a judicial review on procedural grounds arising from the decision in Balajigari where the applicant had been refused due to false representations. The decision is currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal.
W v Poland  EWHC 1317 (Admin)
Mark represented the Requested Person in a High Court extradition appeal where the Appellant had a young child diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder who would struggle to comprehend his father’s absence and may reject him upon his return.
J v H  EWHC 862 (Fam)
Mark represented the SSHD in the High Court Family Division interpreting G v G where the abducted children were placed into foster care and the court exceptionally gave permission for the local authority to withdraw the children as dependants on their father’s asylum application in order to allow their return to Germany.
Hungary v C 
Mark secured an extradition discharge where there were parallel private family proceedings involving child protection and child abduction issues. The Requested Person was wanted in Hungary for fraud offences. The case was unusual as it involved cross-examination of the social worker who had provided a welfare report, as well as expert evidence from a psychiatrist and psychologist about the effect of extradition on the Requested Person’s 5-year-old son.
Re D (Abduction Article 13(b) Child in Care)  EWHC 317 (Fam)
Mark represented the SSHD in one of the first cases interpreting G v G where there are parallel child abduction and asylum proceedings. The case turned on whether the child could properly be considered a dependant on the asylum application, which the court agreed was a decision for the SSHD but subject to judicial review.
G v G  UKSC 9
Mark was junior counsel representing child abduction charity, reunite ICAC, intervening in the Court and Appeal and then the Supreme Court. The decisions examine the interplay between asylum under the Refugee Convention 1951 and child abduction under the Hague Convention 1980 where the abducting parent and/or child makes a claim for asylum
H (Children) (Wardship: Lebanon) 
Mark was instructed as junior counsel representing the father in the High Court Family Division in a complex case involving connected care and wardship proceedings where one child was living in the UK and the siblings were resident in Lebanon but the High Court had retained jurisdiction.
S v Romania  EWHC 506 (Admin), DC
Mark appeared as junior counsel before the Divisional Court in extradition proceedings making an innovative argument for a modified Article 8 balancing exercise where the Requested Person has a right to retrial in the requesting state.
S (A Child) (Wrongful Retention: Portugal) 
Mark represented the mother before the High Court Family Division in child abduction proceedings under the Hague Convention 1980, resisting a return order on the basis of a grave risk under Article 13(b) and the child’s objections under Article 13(2).
Belgium v E  EWHC 2413 (Admin)
Mark secured the discharge of a mother of two in extradition proceedings that considered a flawed interpretation of provisions of the Children Act 1989 on appeal to the High Court. One of very few cases to be remitted to the magistrates’ court but allow for consideration of fresh evidence.
Re (A Child: International Relocation) 
Mark appeared in the High Court Family Division resisting a child’s permanent relocation to Spain on behalf of the mother after the father had previously abducted the child without written consent or the permission of the court.
K v Germany  EWHC 3479 (Admin)
Mark appeared in a multi-handed appeal in the High Court against extradition for a £64 million international VAT carousel fraud. One of the first High Court cases to consider impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Goluchowski.
D v Poland  EWHC 2171 (Admin)
Mark successfully appealed to the High Court against extradition for offences for possession of ammunition on the basis of Article 8 due to the short period of time remaining to be served following Chmura and Jesionowski.
N v Poland  EWHC 833 (Admin)
Mark appealed to the High Court against extradition for offences of fraud, challenging the decision in Zengota that multiple EAWs can be considered as a whole when considering the passage of time bar to extradition.
K v Poland  EWHC 577 (Admin)
Mark appeared in the High Court, arguing on appeal that of extradition to stand trial for fraudulently obtaining credit for a computer purchase in 2007 would be disproportionate under section 21A of the Extradition Act.
O v SSHD 
Mark successfully resisted a Home Office appeal in the Upper Tribunal, having previously overturned a deportation order in the First-Tier Tribunal, arguing that there were no serious grounds to deport despite his conviction for theft and money laundering in 2013.
B v Poland  EWHC 1639 (Admin)
Mark appeared in High Court extradition appeal and secured a rare discharge based on the private life of single male without relatives in the UK, as opposed to family life considerations.
G v Lithuania  EWHC 707 (Admin)
Mark appeared in the High Court, which considered whether evidence in the European Arrest Warrant that the requested person’s sentence would be unenforceable amounted to a bar to extradition.