Mark Hylands

Mark Hylands


Mark is a solicitor in our London office. He joined DPG in October 2017, working initially as a paralegal and then as a trainee solicitor. As a trainee, he assisted Joanna Thomson and Zubier Yazdani on a wide range of complex public law and human rights litigation. He qualified as a solicitor in November 2020, having also obtained his civil higher rights of audience.

Prior to joining DPG, Mark was a researcher at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in Belfast.


Mark helps individuals use the law to challenge decisions that violate their rights, seek accountability for unlawful treatment and claim compensation for harm that they have suffered. He also works collaboratively with NGOs and community organisations seeking to challenge systemic and structural injustice to bring about positive change.

Public LawJudicial Review and Human Rights Litigation

Mark has a varied and developing practice assisting victims of human rights abuses. A large portion of his work involves challenging unlawful immigration detention. In this context, he has helped secure the release of several individuals from detention and has gone on to help many of them to obtain damages for their unlawful treatment. He has also been involved in several significant strategic judicial review cases in relation to the immigration detention estate.

Alongside his immigration detention work, Mark also acts on migrant support and trafficking matters. Mark’s experience of helping trafficked persons includes challenging decisions of the Single Competent Authority when they unlawfully refuse to recognise individuals as victims of human trafficking, or afford them with the necessary support required to recover from their experiences. As a trainee, Mark was involved in a case which successfully challenged the CPS’ decision not to prosecute a former diplomat and his wife for modern slavery offences.

Public Inquiries

Mark is experienced in working on Public Inquiries constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005, for both individuals and NGOs.

Brook House Inquiry

Mark acted for two Core Participants and seven Witnesses involved in the Brook House Inquiry, including the individual D687 and NGOs such as Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group (‘GDWG’), Detention Action, Bail for Immigration Detainees (‘BID’) and INQUEST. The Inquiry was unprecedented in that it was the first statutory public inquiry established to investigate mistreatment and abuse of people detained within the UK’s immigration detention estate. The Inquiry report was published on 19 September 2023.

The Inquiry report concluded that within a short five-month period at Brook House IRC in 2017, 19 incidents of mistreatment occurred which were capable of amounting to inhuman and/or degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 ECHR – including in the case of Mark’s formerly detained client, D687. Alongside its findings on serious systemic failures in the system of safeguards designed to protect vulnerable people in detention, the Inquiry also identified extensive racism, dehumanisation and prisonisation at the immigration removal centre had created a toxic culture, whereby mistreatment was more likely to occur.  The Inquiry recommended that the UK Government introduce 28 day statutory time limit on the use of immigration detention.

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

In 2019, Mark also worked on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, acting for ECPAT UK, a Core Participant to the Inquiry’s investigation into the Protection of Children Outside the UK. The Inquiry’s report was published on 9 January 2020.


Mark is a member of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers where he actively seeks to increase inclusivity and social mobility within the legal profession by mentoring aspiring human rights and legal aid lawyers. He has a particular interest in encouraging and supporting individuals seeking to enter the profession who are from backgrounds underrepresented within the legal sector. Mark is also passionate about and advocates for improving inclusivity for neurodivergent people, both within the legal sector and society more broadly.

Sample Cases

Alongside having secured positive outcomes and substantial damages for many of his clients, Mark has been involved in several significant public law cases, including:

(1) MA (2) BB v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1523 (Admin)  the successful challenge of the Home Secretary’s failure to initiate an Article 3 compliant investigation into abuse and mistreatment of detainees exposed at Brook House IRC.

R (on the application of Humnyntskyi & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 1912 (Admin) – the successful challenge of the Home Office’s Schedule 10 policy on accommodating destitute migrants which the High Court declared systemically unfair and unlawful.

L v The Director of Public Prosecutions [2020] EWHC 1815 (Admin) – the successful challenge of the CPS’ decision not to prosecute a former diplomat and his wife for exploiting L, their then domestic worker, by forcing them to work excessive hours for very little pay.

ETO & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department an ongoing judicial review claim challenging the lawfulness of the Home Secretary’s policy of seeking to remove asylum seekers to Rwanda, in circumstances where they may be victims of human trafficking.