Business lawyer acted for Milan Mandaric in tax trial
Who? Mark Wilson, 50, head of business defence at Midlands and northern England firm Cartwright King.
Why is he in the news? Acted for US businessman Milan Mandaric who, along with Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, was cleared of tax evasion charges at Southwark Crown Court this month.
The prosecution alleged that the two men had evaded tax on payments of £189,000 into Redknapp’s Monaco bank account in 2007 while both were at Portsmouth FC. Mandaric and Redknapp denied the charges. The jury unanimously acquitted the pair after a three-week trial.
HM Revenue & Customs criminal investigations assistant director Chris Martin said: ‘We accept the verdict of the jury, but I would like to remind those using offshore tax havens that it always makes sense to come forward and talk to us before we come to talk to you.’
Route to the case: Existing client.
Thoughts on the case: ‘My client is an old-fashioned, principled and hard-working gentleman and the jury had no problem believing him when he said the money was a gesture of friendship. The size and nature of what was alleged would normally have been a civil, not criminal, matter. But the fact it involved Premier League football propelled it into the headlines.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I found studying law at university boring, but once I was an articled clerk I realised that being a solicitor could be fascinating.’
Career high: ‘Being part of the team of lawyers that created Cartwright King. There were 15 of us back in 2000, but now - despite economic pressures - we are up to 150 lawyers.’
Career low: ‘Quite honestly, I’m a half-full man, not a half-empty one. I like to concentrate on positives.’