Mark Cotter (LLM 1993) has been sworn in as one of 113 new Queen’s Counsel for 2017. The new ‘silks’ were sworn in by the Lord Chancellor at Westminster Hall before a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice. Here, Mark shares how his time at Cardiff has helped him become a leader in the field of crime at the London Bar.
“When I graduated with my LLB I did not get into Bar School. I wanted to do an LLM, but could only afford it if I stayed at home. As I am from Cardiff, it was the realistic choice. The course helped me get back into the work ethic I had shown when in sixth form. I really enjoyed my undergraduate days but I needed to get back into serious academic study in preparation for the bar. It was invaluable.
“I worked extremely hard that year as the course was very demanding. However my favourite memories are connected to when I became a music reviewer for Gair Rhydd. So every week, I went to a meeting and was given free vinyl and CDs to review. I still have my presale copy of Mudhoney’s Piece of Cake and remember seeing them in the Great Hall.
“When I completed the LLM, I moved to London and completed the Bar Vocational course. Then I worked for a few months as a paralegal before starting pupillage. I was taken on as a tenant in chambers following pupillage and stayed there until 2001 when I moved to my current chambers.
“I now work as a barrister in independent practice specialising in criminal law. Day to day I am prosecuting or defending in some of the most substantial and serious cases in the country. I regularly appear in London’s main courts, including the Old Bailey.
“For Cardiff University students, my advice would be enjoy Cardiff. It’s an amazing city, and so many opportunities for outdoor pursuits on your doorstep. Make sure you explore other parts of the city away from the centre, it has some great areas, parks and pubs!”
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