Mark qualified for the Bar with a Law Degree from Essex University, after working in the legal department of Northumberland County Council conducting child care and trading standards cases. He holds the highest Crown Prosecution Service Grading of 4.


Originally from Tyneside, Mark read Law at Essex University. Following Bar exams and six months with the legal department of Northumberland County Council, Mark has practiced at the criminal Bar ever since.

He has a wealth of experience defending and prosecuting serious criminal cases, in particular sexual offence cases involving multiple complainants and defendants, digital media and use of the internet. Mark specialises in cases of causation of serious brain and other injuries to babies and children. He has worked with many of the most senior British and international medical expert witnesses in this field. He also has experience of large scale drugs conspiracies and Department of Trade and Industry prosecutions.


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Additional information

Mark’s experience and seniority have enabled him to hold the most senior Grade 4 Crown Prosecution Service status and led to him appearing as a leading junior on several occasions. He is a former school governor, has served as a director of KCH Garden Square and as a circuit representative to the Criminal Bar Association and was appointed a crown court recorder in 2009.


“Recommended for cases involving large-scale drugs conspiracies” Legal 500 2017

“Experienced in cases involving multiple parties in sexual offence trials” Legal 500 2016

Mark van der Zwart’s “particular strengths include prosecuting and defending sexual offences cases and serious injuries to children.” Legal 500 2015

Mark van der Zwart is a particular specialist in cases involving ‘shaken baby syndrome’, and is highly adept at the complex expert evidence involved in such cases. On a more general level, his practice also encompasses complex drug cases. Chambers UK 2013

Mark van der Zwart is recommended for serious sexual offence cases, and ‘his ability in court is second to none.’ Legal 500 2012

Mark van der Zwart has a ‘robust, but fair, cross-examination technique.’ Legal 500 2011

“…thoughtful and unruffled Mark van der Zwart; an advocate who is always polite, measured, calm and in control.” Chambers and Partners Directory 2009

Recent cases

R v S and others
“Operation Retriever”

The largest sexual offence investigation ever conducted by Derbyshire Police. Involving 13 defendants and 27 complainants, a series of three trials lasting throughout 2010 culminated in convictions and sentences sparking national debate on the issue of race and sexual grooming of vulnerable young people. R v Longdin Attempted murder and robbery of lone female. Female victim suffered multiple stabs wounds in robbery by heroin addict. In May 2011, together with other members of the prosecution team, Mark’s contribution to the Operation Retriever investigation was recognised by a commendation from the Chief Constable of Derbyshire.

R v S
Baby suffered profound brain damage in alleged non-accidental shaking injury. Trial heard evidence from international experts on causation of brain haemorrhages in children.

Contact information

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KCH Garden Square
1 Oxford Street,
Nottingham, NG1 5BH.
Telephone +44 (0) 115 941 8851
Fax: +44 (0) 115 941 4169
DX 10042 Nottingham

96a New Walk,
Leicester, LE1 7EA.
Telephone +44 (0) 116 298 7500
Fax +44 (0) 116 298 7501
DX 17003 Leicester 2