Mark specialises in commercial disputes under English and international law. He is listed as a leading junior for international arbitration in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500.
Mark is frequently instructed on investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitrations in a number of sectors, including banking, finance, media, oil and gas, agriculture and telecommunications. He has represented, or advised, private parties and states under many of the major arbitral rules including the LCIA, ICC, LMAA, ICSID, UNCITRAL and DIAC rules. Mark is often instructed as part of a counsel team, but has also appeared unled before arbitral tribunals.
Mark also maintains a busy practice in commercial litigation. He is regularly instructed as sole counsel on a variety of County Court matters, including general banking work, guarantees and sale of goods cases. He has acted in relation to a range of applications in the County Courts – including for strike out, summary judgment, judgment in default and security for costs – and has appeared as sole counsel in procedural hearings and short trials. Mark has also acted on matters before the High Court as part of counsel teams and has particular experience of arbitration-related court applications and sovereign immunity.
Further information about Mark’s practice and recent experience is set out under the tabs below.
Mark speaks fluent Arabic and has a working knowledge of French. He has worked on cases and projects involving a wide range of jurisdictions and has particular experience working on disputes and projects involving the Middle East and North Africa region.
Prior to transferring to the bar in 2014, Mark practised as a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in the firm’s international arbitration and public international law group (2009-2013).
“Very articulate. He is regularly instructed by the best firms.” “His penmanship is very strong.”
Chambers and Partners 2018
“A clear thinker, speaker and adviser in complex international disputes.”
Legal 500 2017
Mark has over eight years of experience acting as counsel on commercial and investment treaty arbitrations and maintains a busy practice in both areas.
He has acted as counsel in arbitrations conducted under all the major rules, including the London Centre for International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Mark’s recent investment treaty arbitration experience includes:
- acting as counsel for the Sultanate of Oman in the case of Attila Doğan Construction & Installation Co. Inc. v. Sultanate of Oman (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/7) (instructed by Three Crowns LLP);
- acting as counsel for the claimants in the case of Marfin Investment Group Holdings S.A., Alexandros Bakatselos and others v. Republic of Cyprus (ICSID Case No.ARB/13/27) (instructed by Three Crowns LLP).
Mark’s recent commercial arbitration experience includes:
- acting as sole counsel to an oil and gas major in a LMAA arbitration arising from contracts for the supply of bunkers to two vessels in a port in the UAE;
- acting as counsel for the claimants in a multi-billion dollar claim against a Middle Eastern jurisdiction related to contractual rights to the exploitation of oil and gas resources (instructed and led by Constantine Partasides QC, Three Crowns LLP);
- acting as counsel to the respondents in a complex and high value commercial arbitration under the LCIA rules between international parties, arising out of a series of English law-governed loan agreements (instructed and led by Garreth Wong, Bird and Bird LLP);
- acting as counsel for a Jersey-based oil and gas investment fund in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising from an English law governed contract with a Canadian exploration and development company (instructed and led by Constantine Partasides QC, Three Crowns LLP); and
- acting as sole counsel for a Canadian natural resources company, in a potential contractual arbitration (English law governed) under the ICSID Additional Facility arising from a joint venture with a public body in a Middle Eastern country (instructed by Obeidat & Freihat, Jordan).
Mark is regularly instructed as sole counsel in the County Courts on a variety of commercial matters. He has recently appeared as sole counsel in the context of strike out / summary judgment applications under CPR 3 and 24; an application for relief from sanctions under CPR 3.9; and a procedural hearing regarding allocation. He is frequently instructed on the preparation of particulars of claim, statements of defence and a range of applications in the context of disputes in the County Courts.
Recent highlights of Mark’s High Court work include acting as counsel for:
- a sovereign in immunity proceedings related to the enforcement of an arbitral award (led by Christopher Harris and instructed by A.P. Berkeley);
- the Libyan Investment Authority in claims in the Chancery Division against Société Générale to recover multi-billion dollar sums lost in equity derivative transactions (instructed by Enyo Law LLP);
- Gemini Oil & Gas Fund II L.P. in the Queen’s Bench Division, defending against an action brought under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (led and instructed by Constantine Partasides QC of Three Crowns LLP).
Mark regularly accepts instructions on cases and matters concerning questions of public international law. He has advised states and other organisations on the implications of sovereign treaty obligations and frequently acts as counsel to clients making applications regarding violations of human rights treaties to United Nations treaty-monitoring bodies.
Current and recent highlights of Mark’s public international law work include:
- acting as counsel in sovereign immunity proceedings related to the enforcement of an arbitral award in England and Wales (led by Christopher Harris and instructed by A.P. Berkeley);
- acting as counsel (led by Ben Emmerson QC) in relation to a complex UN Human Rights Committee application against Kazakhstan;
- advising (as junior to Geoffrey Robertson QC) a Middle Eastern government on the strength of its position, as a matter of international law, in the context of a high profile dispute with neighbouring countries (instructed by Howard Kennedy LLP);
- acting as a delegate / rapporteur on two fact-finding missions of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (the first to Cambodia and the second to Tanzania) which examined the extent to which the countries’ judiciaries were in compliance with their respective treaty obligations;
- advising the Kingdom of Bahrain on compliance with its periodic reporting obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture (led by Amal Clooney);
- providing ad hoc advice to the Kingdom of Bahrain on various issues related to domestic legal and political reform in light of the recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and Bahrain’s international obligations (led by Tariq Baloch); and
- acting as counsel in Egypt v Ibrahim Halawa and ors (before United Nations tribunals), a case involving applications to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism.
Mark has significant experience of acting as counsel to public inquiries. He is currently instructed as junior counsel on a statutory inquiry in England and Wales (under the Inquiries Act 2005). He also has experience of advising on an international inquiry conducted according to UN rules. Current and recent highlights of Mark’s public inquiries work include:
- acting as Junior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales, with particular responsibility for the investigation into institutional failures in England and Wales associated with offending abroad (in relation to which Mark is the Lead Junior Counsel). The inquiry has a statutory footing and is mandated to examine whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales (instructed by FieldFisher LLP).
- advising the Royal Court of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the establishment and operation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry chaired by Professor Cherif Bassiouni. Mark was part of a legal team which included Tariq Baloch of 3 Verulam Buildings and Amal Clooney of Doughty Street Chambers. The Commission represented the first time any sovereign state has willingly established a national commission composed entirely of international commissioners.