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07 MAY 2008

Gunman shot dead by police was a family law barrister

A gunman shot dead by police after a five hour stand-off was a practising family law barrister, it has been revealed today.

Mark Saunders, 32, has been named as the man at the centre of a gun battle near the King's Road in Chelsea yesterday.

Mr Saunders was shot dead after opening fire on police three times over a five hour period from a flat in Markham Square, Chelsea, south-west London, and armed police returned fire each time. The incident began just before 5pm when shots were heard.

The Metropolitan Police said Mr Saunders was pronounced dead shortly after he opened fire for the third time at 9.30pm.

As is usual in police shootings, an Independent Police Complaints Committee investigation has been launched.

Mr Saunders was a successful family law barrister with QEB chambers specialising in ancillary relief. He wrote and delivered numerous lectures, and in 2002 he wrote an article for the Family Law journal.

His entry in the 2007 Chambers & Partners Guide lists Mark Saunders as a Leader at the Bar" and describes him as "absolutely terrific" and a "particularly good advocate who has an engaging style with clients".

He was called to the bar in 1999 after reading law at Christ Church College, Oxford.

Mr Saunders's wife, Elizabeth Clarke, was called to the bar in 1991 is also a family law barrister at QEB chambers and an Oxford law graduate.

The post-mortem is expected to be conducted at Westminster Mortuary this afternoon.

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