Mark is a highly regarded commercial lawyer who has considerable cross-border experience. Throughout his career he has been a judge; worked in-house; worked in private practice; built hedge funds; advised governments and run private- and public-sector organisations. The vast majority of his career has been spent identifying solutions, negotiating deals and cultivating commercial trust and confidence.
During his time in the Middle East, Mark was Chief Executive of the Dubai International Financial Centre’s Dispute Resolution Authority, Registrar of the DIFC Courts and a Small Claims Tribunal judge.
Mark is passionate about resolving problems: he is the Past President of the International Association of Court Administration, a visiting fellow at Oxford University in the sphere of reputation building and management, a member of the World Economic Forum’s expert network and sits on a number of governmental taskforces related to AI and justice.
Mark has twice been named in the ‘Top 50 influential Brits in the UAE’ by Arabianbusines.com, identified as one of the 100 Inspiring Leaders in the Middle East by Arabian Business 2020 and recognised by Forbes Middle East as one of the top 50 most influential expats in the UAE.
Sir Anthony has sung his praises, noting how: 'I cannot even begin to say how fortunate the Courts were to recruit him or to describe the efficiency and above all vision and flair he has brought to the office of Registrar. Under his leadership the Courts' staff has become an effective team, and he is a powerful ambassador for the Courts in Dubai and the UAE and internationally. Allow me a nautical metaphor - his talents are now in full flood, and I simply commend him for what he has done and what he will certainly achieve int he future.'
Sir Anthony Evans, former Chief Justice of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts
Perhaps the last important piece put into place, administratively, during these early years occurred in 2008 with the naming of Mark Beer as the judiciary's full-time, Dubai-based Registrar. In many ways Beer's appointment helped further elevate the global presence, power and prestige of the DIFC Courts. Over the years, Beer's reputation within the legal and business community has been stellar. He is thought of as brilliant, honest, charismatic and eloquent, and someone who is seen as having boundless, optimistic energy.
Professor Jayanth Krishnan, Milt and Judi Stewart Professor of Law; Director, Milt and Judi Stewart Centre on the Global Legal Profession, Maurer School of Law, Indianan University in his book ‘The story of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts’
- Commercial contract drafting
- Commercial disputes
- Enforcement of contracts and awards
- AI, blockchain and smart contracts
- Negotiating settlements
- China’s Belt & Road and Associated Risks
- Building judicial and arbitral institutions
- Risk and compliance
- Internal ethics complaints
- Client training and outreach
- Talent acquisition and strategy
- People development
- Outside counsel management
- Corporate finance
- Dispute resolution
- Took the idea of a wills and probate registry and made it a reality, including the development of the necessary laws, rules and regulations. This facility allows investors in Dubai to ensure that upon their death their assets will pass in accordance with their will (rather than via the forced heirship mechanism used in the civil courts).
- Developed the DIFC Courts such that they were described as the World’s most technologically advanced Courts.
- Working with Courts to develop an effective legal jurisdiction for Smart Contracts.
- Established the Courts of the Future Forum, a think-tank to determine the future of justice and judiciaries.
- Established and operated the first Virtual Court in the Middle East, in collaboration with Microsoft.
- Developed the DIFC Courts’ reputation as one of the leading commercial courts in the world, including (i) the development of its international outreach strategy (leading to the signing of unprecedented memoranda with the UK Commercial Courts, Federal Courts of New York (Southern District), Singapore, Korea, the Federal Courts of Australia, the NSW Supreme Courts, Kenya and Kazakhstan); (ii) the focus on customer service and business excellence which has led to the reshaping of the International Framework for Court Excellence; (iii) the implementation of technology to enhance efficiency and employee satisfaction; (iv) the establishment of the DIFC Courts’ training academy; (v) the introduction of the region’s first Code of Conduct for lawyers, pro-bono programme and small claims tribunal; and (vi) the creation of the Courts of the Future Forum, bringing thought leaders from around the world together to develop a framework for how disputes of the future will need to be resolved to ensure the global supply chain remains efficient.
- Established the Dubai World Tribunal. Was asked, together with Sir Anthony Evans, to create this judicial tribunal to handle the restructuring of Dubai World and its 1000+ subsidiaries. Described as the leading restructuring regime in the world, it facilitated US$25bn of debt restructuring in its first year and has handled the formal restructuring of Drydocks World LLC and Drydocks World (Dubai) LLC and Dubai World, along with 100s of cases brought by or against Dubai World and its subsidiaries.
- Directly involved in legislative amendments and budgetary negotiations leading to the opening of the international jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts in 2011.
- Established the DIFC Dispute Resolution Authority. Worked with Government to draft the legislation to create this new Authority. The Authority comprises the DIFC Courts, the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration and Mediation Centre, the DIFC Academy of Law and the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry.
- Advised Governments in CIS, the Middle East and Asia on the use of Smart Contracts to mitigate cross-border legal risk.
- Implemented change across MasterCard’s South Asia, Middle East and Africa region to address Global and Regional regulatory and legal developments, the company’s IPO and a revised focus on long-term, sustainable revenues derived from stronger customer relationships.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
- Twice named in the ‘Top 50 most influential Brits in the UAE’ by ArabianBusiness.com.
- Listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Dubai and by Forbes Middle East as one of the top 50 most influential expats in the UAE.
- Twice shortlisted by the Law Society of England and Wales as the UK’s Solicitor of the Year – In-House.
- Awarded The ACC Middle East Achievement Award for his work in developing Dubai’s judicial system.
- Member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network for the Justice sector and a legal commentator on China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.
- Member of the Advisory Committee to the Dubai Legal Innovation Programme established by the Government of Dubai.
- A member of the Commercial Dispute Resolution Taskforce, part of the UK Government’s ‘LawTech Delivery Panel’.
- A member of the advisory board to Oxford University’s research project “Unlocking the Potential of AI for English Law”, funded by a GBP1.2m grant from the UK Government.
Mark qualified as a solicitor in 1996. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2018, he worked at the following firms:
- Dispute Resolution Authority
- Mastercard Worldwide
- Man Investments
- Clyde & Co