As a barrister, she specialises in public law, including human rights, and is a member of the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal. The wife of Conservative MP and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, she was appointed Queen's Counsel (as Ms Marina Wheeler) in 2016.
Wheeler is of half English and half Indian Sikh descent, the daughter of BBC correspondent Sir Charles Wheeler and his second wife Dip Singh. Her Asian ancestry goes back to the town of Sargodha in West Punjab, with her maternal family migrating to India after the partition. She was educated at the European School of Brussels, and then in the early 1980s at Cambridge University, where she wrote for the student magazine Cantab. At the European School, she became friendly with Boris Johnson, the journalist and politician. Her sister, Shirin Wheeler, is an EU spokeswoman.
After Cambridge, Wheeler returned to Brussels and worked there for four years. In 1987 she was called to the Bar, practising from chambers in London at One Crown Office Row. In her work as a barrister, Wheeler specialises in mental health matters and discrimination claims. In January 2004 she was appointed to the B-Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown. In 2009, she joined the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal as a barrister member.
Of her legal work, Wheeler has stated:
My own experience, shared by many colleagues, is that a high proportion of discrimination cases we deal with are ill-founded. One colleague puts the figure at more than 60 per cent... Many unregulated advisors make a living bringing discrimination claims, and they do not always seem to have the best interests of the Applicant in mind.
In 1993, Wheeler married her childhood friend, Boris Johnson, after they met again in Brussels, where he was covering the European Parliament for The Daily Telegraph. Together they have four children, Lara Lettice, Milo Arthur, Cassia Peaches and Theodore Apollo, and live in Islington.
- Sir Charles Wheeler (obituary) at telegraph.co.uk
- Family of influence behind Boris Johnson, 3 May 2008, from The Daily Telegraph at telegraph.co.uk
- Amit Roy, Boris gets on his bike from The Telegraph of Calcutta dated May 11, 2008, at telegraphindia.com
- Brian Wheeler, The Boris Johnson story dated 4 May 2008 at news.bbc.co.uk
- Marina Wheeler, One Crown Office Row profile at 1cor.com
- Marina Wheeler at 1cor.com
- Marina Wheeler, When some are more equal than others (2003), text online at 1cor.com
- Guardian Legal Network
- Marina Wheeler, Tribunal Practice - Tips and Tactics, text online at humanrights.org.uk
- Marina Wheeler, The Unruly Article 8, text online at 1cor.com
- Philip Havers QC & Marina Warner, Human Rights Update 2005, text online at 1cor.com