Mark Ruffell



Regulatory and Disciplinary

Mark is head of Pump Court Chambers Regulatory and Disciplinary Team. He has a wide range of experience in regulatory and disciplinary cases. 

Mark's broad regulatory expertise includes cases of director disqualification, planning enforcement, enforcement of developer contributions, breaches of environmental legislation, licensing appeals, breaches of the consumer credit act, breaches of trading standards and he has advised companies on the regulatory regime at the World Bank. He was defence counsel originally instructed in Dorset County Council v. Lapland New Forest. 

Mark has represented operators and transport managers in public inquiries held by Traffic Commissioners. He has represented those appealing against the revocation of Private Hire Licences as well as clients charged with Road Traffic Offences. He has represented Driving Instructors appealing decisions affecting their registration. He has a knowledge of Health and Safety procedure.

Mark has special expertise in relation to Care Homes. He has appeared before the Care Standards Tribunal appealing decisions by the Care Quality Commission in relation to Care Homes and Domicilliary Care Providers. He is regularly instructed to advise Care Home Owners and the Providers of Domicilliary Care when they respond to Notices of Proposal, through to drafting grounds of appeal challenging decisions of the CQC. He has been involved in cases involving nurses accused of misconduct before the NMC in relation to residents in care homes and he has been involved in criminal cases involving a care home worker who was accused of ill-treating residents who lacked capacity. 

In relation to disciplinary cases, Mark represents registrants / members before their disciplinary bodies. Mark is able to advise and represent Police Officers subject to UPP's and matters relating to their conduct and performance. In addition, Mark is a Legal Adviser to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Chartered Institute of Legal Executves (CiLEX) and the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). Mark is a Disciplinary Panel member of the Taxation and Disciplinary Board (TDB).

Mark has dealt with Parole Board hearings and attended Coroners’ Courts on behalf of the deceased’s family.

Mark has also been instructed in numerous cases of money laundering, tax evasion and confiscation (including proceedings in the civil jurisdiction and criminal jurisdictions for confiscation). He has also advised companies on bribery and corruption allegations.

Examples of previous regulatory cases:

  • Licensing: S. Restaurant v WCC: Represented S. Restaurant who faced having their alcohol licence removed for serious contraventions of their licence. Winchester City Council.
  • Care Standards Tribunal: TEL v CQC: Represented TEL who were appealing a condition placed on their registration.
  • Care Standards Tribunal: AU v CQC: Represented a care home provider who appealed the decision of the Care Quality Commission to cancel his registration.
  • Defence: Advised scrap metal dealer on Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
  • Defence: Planning enforcement trial - Winchester Crown Court
  • Breach of Consumer Credit Act case brought by Birmingham City Council on behalf of another authority: (Defence) advised Defendant that there was no case to answer and prosecution offered no evidence
  • Dorset County Council v. M. & Another: 2010: Defence: Instructed (prior to trial) to defend Director of Lapland New Forest who was prosecuted by Trading Standards – Bristol


Serious fraud: Mark has been instructed in many cases of fraud that have included boiler room fraud, carousel fraud, courier fraud, betting fraud; international advanced fee fraud; a nationwide home-working fraud; an insolvent tour operator fraud; an international plant machinery fraud; a nationwide credit card (identity theft) fraud, a fraud by claiming to be the beneficiary of a deceased’s estate, postal and charity frauds; and numerous frauds by company (including bank) employees. Mark has been instructed as Independent Counsel by the Serious Fraud Office.

Examples of previous fraud cases include:

  • R. v. M. (Defence): Represented M, a successful businessman accused of defrauding his employees by non-payment of tax, N.I. and pension contributions to the value of £138,000. Norwich Crown Court.

  • R. v. Amani, Hajji & Worthington: (Prosecution): London based organised crime group targetting elderly and vulnerable in a courier fraud. Winchester Crown Court.

  • R. v. L.: (Defence): L worked for a company for 3 years and was accused of stealing £70,000 through manipulating the pay system. Reading Crown Court

  • R. v. W.: (Prosecution): Prosecuted W who was part of a boiler room fraud that targetted potential wealthy investors with false financial investment products. Harrow Crown Court.

  • R. v. SF & Another: (Defence): 2 businessmen prosecuted by HMRC for a fraud claiming false CIS rebates for non-existent companies. Guildford Crown Court

  • R. v. P. & Another: (Defence) P. charged with setting up a rival company whilst still working for another company. P attracted new clients to his rival company and then sold stock supplied by the original company to them. P. was accused of acting to the detriment of the original company against company policy. P. successfully claimed that all that he did was authorised by a director of the original company - Portsmouth Crown Court.

  • R v A & Others: (Defence) A charged with conspiracy to defraud. A was part of a gang posing as police officers and bank officials who claimed that credit cards had been compromised and offered to protect money in victims' accounts - Blackfriars Crown Court.
  • R. v. R.: (Defence) R. worked as a civil servant attached to the MOD. He was accused of fiddling his expenses over many years and falsely claiming in excess of £40,000. Following analysis of receipts and written submissions to the effect that there was no loss, the Crown offered no evidence on the day of trial - Bristol Crown Court
  • R. v. H.: (Prosecution) H. obtained a declaration that her brother was intestate (when there was a valid will that named his partner) and she went about securing all of his assets. She was caught when the Police were alerted to a valuable stamp collection being auctioned off.
  • R. v. G.: (Defence): G. worked as a gardener in his 60's. One of his clients was an elderly lady who he helped with the shopping. He pursuaded her that he was carrying out work for her and succeeded in obtaining over £16,000 from her for work that he had not done. Swindon Crown Court.
  • R. v. S.: (Prosecution): S. worked in a bank and stole £18,000 over a year but covered up the thefts by making false entries and cross-firing deposits in the accounts. She denied the allegation and the case went to trial pleading guilty after the case was opened.
  • R. v. PC: (Defence): A complicated betting syndicate fraud. Canterbury Crown Court.

Cybercrime: Mark was instructed (defence) in one of the rare prosecutions of a member of the illusive group named Anonymouse who were responsible for attacking websites around the world. He gained immeasurable experience in understanding how computer crime is committed, how it is detected and in how to present a defence using such highly technical evidence to a jury.

General Criminal work: Mark is regularly instructed to defend and prosecute complex and serious cases often involving organised crime groups. Mark has been instructed in cases of murder, serious assaults, rape and sexual offences, armed robbery, aggravated burglary, arson with intent, public disorder and death by dangerous driving.

He is also an expert in cases involving the importation and supply of controlled drugs [SEE] .

He is in an expert in proceeds of crime cases. He is regularly instructed  the CPS and is a grade 4 panel advocate. 

Examples of typical cases:

  • R. v. M. (Defence): Defended M who was charged with causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drugs. Bournemouth Crown Court.
  • R. v. M. & Another (Defence): Defended M accused with his brother of an acid attack in Southampton. Southampton Crown Court The case went to appeal [2017] EWCA Crim 533 due to a ruling on admitting a text message sent by the co-defendant. This was reported in the Criminal Law Review [2017] 793, where the argument made on appeal was supported by the commentator.
  • R. v. L. & T.: (Prosecution): Prosecuted L and T for supplying class A drugs to Hampshire and Surrey towns for over a year. Winchester Crown Court
  • R. v. G-A & Others: (Prosecution): Prosecuted a lengthy trial involving 8 defendants, some from two rival London based drugs networks who supplied class A drugs to Hampshire towns over 2 years. Winchester Crown Court.
  • R. v. S. & Others: (Prosecution): Leading junior prosecuting a lengthy trial involving 6 Defendants, some from several London based drugs networks who supplied class A drugs to Hampshire towns over a year. Winchester Crown Court.
  • R. v. Martin and Brimecome: (Prosecution): Court of Appeal upheld convictions following a decision by MR to indict with 'being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug.' The judgement was given by The Lord Chief Justice, The Right Honourable The Lord Thomas of Cymgiedd on the meaning of the word supply. See R. v. Martin and Brimecome [2014] EWCA Crim 1940; [2015] 1 WLR 588; [2015] 1 Cr.App.R. 11; [2015] Crim. L.R. 83  Regina v Martin (Dwain) and Another [2014] WLR (D) 341.
  • R. v. C. (Defence): Defended a man who posed as a private hire driver who was accused of raping a passenger. Central Criminal Court
  • R. v. C. & Others (Prosecution): Leading junior prosecuting 8 Defendants in a 6 week trial charged with conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to burgle. Harrow Crown Court.


Courts Martial

Mark has defended in many Courts Martial in the United Kingdom and in Germany. 

Notable case:

  • Fraud: R. v. Soldier F & Others: 2008: Defence: A complicated fraud involving sensitive evidence that led to a successful media challenge to reveal details of the potential evidence preventing the prosecution from continuing - Bulford.

Ecclesiastical / Religion

Mark is Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Winchester. He has dealt with many applications for faculty permission relating to church buildings and has determined Faculty Petitions following a hearing in a Consistory Court.

Mark irepresents Petitoners and Parties Opponents in other dioceses outside of the Diocese of Winchester. He regularly gives advice to Local Authorities on the re-use of cemeteries where there is consecrated ground.

Mark has been a churchwarden for 15 years and has personal experience of reordering a church.

Mark is a member of the Ecclesiastical Judges Association and the Ecclesiastical Law Society.

Inquests and Inquiries


Mark has represented families and other interested parties who were concerned over sudden deaths that have occurred whilst serving in the army or in care homes.


Mark has been instructed to give impartial advice to organisations who require an independent external opinion on difficult and sensitive matters with a view to assisting the organisation on where responsibilty may lie.

Transport Law

Mark has represented operators, transport managers and finance companies in hearings held by Traffic Commissioners. He is able to advise hauliers directly who are applying for a licence or are facing a public inquiry arising out of concerns over conduct or road worthiness. Mark is able to bring his extensive experience of dealing with planning applications to assist in contested applications for operating centres.

Mark is able to represent approved driving instructors and trainee instructors when appealing to the General Regulatory Tribunal against decisions made by the Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors.

Mark has represented Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle drivers in the Magistrates' and Crown Courts. 

Mark has represented numerous clients for Road Traffic Offences, from speeding cases through to cases of death by dangerous driving. He is aware of the potentially serious impact that such cases have upon clients and their families.

Mark regularly advises hauliers in relation to incidents where Border Force have become involved at points of entry into the United Kingdom.

Mark is a member of the Association of Road Transport Lawyers.

Examples of typical cases include:

  • Defended a motorist charged with causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drugs
  • Successfully represented a transport manager who had been disqualified indefinitely so she could regain her good repute.
  • Advised a European Haulage Company concerning problems encountered when Border Force seized a lorry that was carrying controlled drugs that had probably been hidden by a driver who was not an employee.
  • R. v. L.: (Defence): Represented L who was accused of causing serious injury by dangerous driving to three cyclists with a potential sentence of 3-5 years. He was acquitted at trial and convicted  of driving without care and attention and was sentenced to a fine and a period of disqualification. Martin driver who
  • Advised a European Haulage Company concerning problems encountered when Border Force seized a lorry that was carrying a clandestine entrant.
  • Successfully represented a bus company that had to appear before a Traffic Commissioner accused of fronting, an inadequate maintenance regime, lack of financial standing and an invisible transport manager.
  • Successfully represented a finance company whose vehicle had been impounded after it was being misused by the company that had lease purchased it. Bristol TC.


Business and Commercial

Mark's involvement with businesses arises out of regulatory and criminal interactions that occur when there is a breach of financial standards or dishonesty.

Mark is often called in to advise businesses when allegations are made by a commercial competitor that there has been serious fraud or bribery and corruption. He is able to advise businesses on the likely threats to their business from such allegations, including the potential outcomes should matters be pursued by the appropriate authorities.

Mark has experience of advising clients in relation to regulatory proceedings before professional bodies and financial institutions including the World Bank.

Mark has advised international clients who are involved in global supply chain haulage and passenger transport where Border Force or DVSA have become involved. 

Mark has represented disqualified directors who are prosecuted by the Insolvency Service.


Year of call: 1992
  • Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Winchester
  • Legal Adviser to the GPhC, ACCA, NMC, GCC and CiLEX
  • Disciplinary Panel member of the Taxation Disciplinary Board (TDB)
Areas of specialism:
  • Administrative and Public Law
  • Business and Commercial
  • Courts Martial
  • Criminal
  • Ecclesiastical / Religion
  • Inquests and Inquiries
  • Public Access and Direct Access
  • Regulatory and Disciplinary
  • Transport Law
Additional languages:
  • French
  • Bachelor of Divinity (B.D. Hons. Lond., A.K.C.)
  • Diploma in Law (University of Westminster) 1991
  • Called to the Bar 1992 (Middle Temple)
Professional associations:
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Ecclesiastical Law Society
  • Ecclesiastical Judges’ Association
  • Western Circuit
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Association of Road Transport Lawyers
Outside Interests:
  • Mark is a former FA level 1 football coach and team manager, as well as being a Churchwarden and Borough Councillor.
  • Former member of a Licensing Authority’s Licensing Committee.
  • Member of Local authority crime and disorder panel from 2002-5.
  • Advisor to the Shadow Parliamentary Front Bench on Home Affairs from 1999-2001 (Mode of Trial Bill and Private Security Industry Bill).
  • Member of Local authority internal employment tribunal chairman from 1993-4.
Notable Cases:
  • R. v. Midmore [2017] EWCA Crim 533; Criminal Law Week 2017; 2017 CLR 793 lengthy commentary on hearsay in text messages
  • R. v. Martin [2014] EWCA Crim 1940; [2015] 1WLR 588; [2015] 1CrAppR 11; [2015] Crim LR 83 - meaning of supply
  • S, Burt & Others [2005] EWCA Crim 3616; Archbold 2018 5-507- extended sentences