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Mark Balysz

Call 1995

"Health & Safety Junior of the Year"
(Chambers & Partners 2017)

Criminal Regulatory & Environmental

Corporate Manslaughter

At present Mark is assisting four Companies and their directors, under investigation by the police. These include a television film studio, road works contractor, a building contractor and a national retailer.


Mark is instructed to undertake Environmental cases, most often involving charges brought under the EPA 1990, the Water Resources Act 1991, Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000 and Packaging Regulations.

His most recent environmental work includes:

  1. Defending companies charged under the EPA with allowing large volumes of waste to collect on unlicensed land.
  2. Defending companies charged under the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations.
  3. Advising companies on the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations.
  4. Defending companies on allegations of water pollution.

Recent clients have included Yorkshire Water and house builder Barratt Homes.

Fire Safety

Mark’s specialisation in fire safety goes together with his health and safety expertise. He defends both companies and directors charged with breaching the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006, DSEAR and the general duties under HSWA. Clients in this regard have included, amongst others, ATS Euromaster Ltd and B&Q Plc.

Mark also represents fire services after the deaths of fire fighters. This includes:

  1. Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, for whom he acted in a six week inquest into the deaths of two fire fighters in Shirley Towers, before the Coroner for Southampton and the New Forest.
  2. Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, in a five week inquest into the death of a fire fighter at Paul’s Hair World, listed in April 2016 before the Coroner for Greater Manchester.

Mark is regularly instructed to advise and represent companies and directors in trading standards and licensing matters.

Financial Crime

Mark has throughout his 20 years of practice specialised in serious crime and continues to be instructed in such cases where a junior is required with experience, an attention to detail and proven ability.

Mark’s first experience of fraud work was as a led junior in the London City Bond frauds of the late 1990s. Ever since he has represented both companies and directors charged with fraud and facing confiscation proceedings, individuals on money laundering allegations and has advised companies with regards to the Bribery Act 2010. Mark attributes his success in the criminal regulatory field to the years of practice he has had in serious crime, in particular financial.

Selected Cases

Corporate Manslaughter

  • R v Peter Mawson Ltd & Peter Mawson – Mark represented both defendants from the outset of the police investigation into the death of an employee who fell through a sky-light whilst undertaking roof repairs. The director was directly involved in the works and this was a case of no safety measures being in place. Both Defendants were charged with manslaughter. Company pleaded to corporate manslaughter and s.2 HSWA. It was fined £215,000 with significant time to pay. Director pleaded to s.37 HSWA and received a non-custodial penalty. The prosecution unsuccessfully argued profit before safety. The judge rejected evidence from ex-employees as to a callous disregard for safety.
  • R v Sterecycle Ltd – Mark advised the Company, charged with corporate manslaughter, and its administrators pre-trial. As a result the Company was unrepresented at trial.

Financial Crime

  • R v The Home & Motor Club Limited & David Mellen – Mark secured the acquittal of both Defendants charged with 28 counts of fraud and breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. HHJ Fitton QC ruled in favour of an application of no case to answer at the close of the prosecution’s case and directed the jury to acquit. Both Defendants had previously pleaded guilty when represented by different counsel and solicitors, such pleas being set aside after the instruction of Mark and on his application. The basis of that application was a failure to follow the procedure for indication of sentence in R v Goodyear [2005] EWCA 888, inappropriate prosecutorial inducement and flawed advice by non-specialist lawyers.
  • R v Pummell & Others – VAT carousel fraud and money laundering.
  • R v Kyriakides & Others – Alleged fraud of trustee in bankruptcy in sum of £100 million plus. Client acquitted on direction of judge at close of prosecution case.

Other Notable Cases

  • Liverpool CC v Euroffice Ltd & Spicers Ltd – Acted for both companies in defence against charges brought under the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations.
  • Various v TJ Morris Ltd (Home Bargains) – Retained counsel advising and representing company on licensing and criminal investigations and prosecutions.
  • R v Rosemary Beazley & Scott Beazley [2013] EWCA Crim 567 – Represented husband and wife directors in trade mark law prosecution and responded on appeal after judge stayed confiscation proceedings for an abuse of process.
  • West Berkshire DC v Superdrug Stores Plc – Advised company on prosecution under Packaging (Essential Requirements) regulations 2003. Charges withdrawn after receipt of counsel drafted submissions.
  • Various v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd – Multiple instructions defending licensing prosecutions.
  • R v Butt, Khan & Zaidi – Client, with co-defendants, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to forge international travel documents and original terrorism charges not proceeded with.
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“A great junior with solid criminal knowledge and an impressive manner in court.”

Legal 500 2018

“An utterly reliable advocate with a great understanding of the law.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2018

“He has excellent technical skills and a real ability to read clients’ expectations.”

Legal 500 2017

“Health & Safety Junior of the Year”

Chambers & Partners 2017

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