Mark specialises in commercial disputes under English and international law. He is recognised 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 in banking and finance-related disputes, including numerous matters involving PPI, guarantees and the sale of goods. He has appeared unled in procedural hearings and short trials, as well as in a range of applications, including for strike out, summary judgment and security for costs. Mark also has experience, acting as part of a counsel team, of arbitration-related court applications and the enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards.
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).
“An excellent junior. His analysis is crystal clear and his drafting is elegant, well-structured and succinct. His input is always timely and well-pitched.”
Chambers and Partners 2019
“A rising star; always calm and considered, even under pressure.”
Legal 500 2018 - 2019
"A clear thinker, speaker and adviser in complex international disputes." Legal 500 2017
Mark has a great deal of experience acting as counsel on investment treaty arbitrations. He is regularly instructed to assist with written and oral submissions in complex investment claims and is recognised in the directories as a leading junior at the English bar for international arbitration.
Highlights of Mark’s recent investment treaty arbitration experience include:
- Czech investor v European State (UNCITRAL) – Mark acted for the claimant in this UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration involving the indirect expropriation of the Claimant’s business by virtue of a change in the host state’s law. The case also involved detailed argumentation on the implications of the CJEU’s judgment in Achmea. Final hearing held in October 2018 (led by Christopher Harris, 3VB).
- Attila Doğan Construction & Installation Co. Inc. v. Sultanate of Oman (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/7) – Mark acted for the respondent in this ICSID investment treaty arbitration involving, amongst other things, complex questions on attribution under international law. Case ongoing – final hearing listed for mid-2019 (instructed by Three Crowns LLP).
- Marfin Investment Group Holdings S.A., Alexandros Bakatselos and others v. Republic of Cyprus (ICSID Case No.ARB/13/27) – Mark acted for the claimant in this ICSID investment treaty arbitration in connection with the demise of Cyprus’s second largest bank. The case also involved detailed argumentation on the implications of the CJEU’s judgment in Achmea. Award issued in mid-2018 (led by Tariq Baloch, 3VB and instructed by Three Crowns LLP).
- American investor v North African State (UNCITRAL) – Mark acted for the claimant in this UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration involving difficult questions on the definitions of “investment” and “investor” under the ICSID convention and international law. Case settled in 2017.
Mark is also frequently instructed to assess the merits of potential investment treaty claims. He has provided merits analyses to potential claimants considering whether to launch a claim, as well as to arbitration funders.
"A clear thinker, speaker and adviser in complex international disputes." Legal 500 2017
Mark has acted as counsel in numerous commercial arbitrations and is recognised in the directories as a leading junior at the English bar for international arbitration. He is frequently instructed to assist with both written and oral submissions in commercial arbitrations.
He has acted in claims conducted under the rules of the major arbitration institutions, including the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), 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).
Highlights of Mark’s recent commercial arbitration experience include:
- Aviation dispute in South-East Asia – Mark acts for the claimant in a large dispute related to the supply of services under a series of contracts in the aviation sector. Hearing listed for December 2018.
- Dispute between shareholders in a large African oil & gas company – Mark acted for the respondents in a complex and high value shareholder dispute under the LCIA rules between international parties, arising out of a series of English law-governed loan agreements. Award issued in mid-2018.
- Oil & gas major v marine fuel supplier – Mark acted as sole counsel to the claimant in a LMAA arbitration arising from contracts for the supply of bunkers to two vessels in a port in the UAE. Settled after written pleadings in late 2017.
- Oil & gas major v Middle Eastern government – Mark acted 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. Settled in late 2017.
- Canadian natural resources company v Middle Eastern government – Mark acted as sole counsel for a Canadian natural resources company, in a contractual arbitration (English law governed) under the ICSID Additional Facility arising from a joint venture with a public body in a Middle Eastern country. Settled in late 2016.
“Very articulate. He is regularly instructed by the best firms.” “His penmanship is very strong.” Chambers and Partners 2018
Mark is regularly instructed either as sole counsel or as part of a counsel team on a variety of commercial matters.
He has appeared as sole counsel in the context of numerous banking and finance-related disputes in the county courts, including matters involving PPI, guarantees and the sale of goods. Mark frequently appears as counsel in procedural hearings, short trials and in the full range of applications.
Mark is also frequently instructed on the preparation of particulars of claim, statements of defence and a range of applications in the context of commercial disputes.
Mark also has experience of acting in large cases in the High Court, acting as part of a counsel team. Recent highlights of Mark’s commercial court work include acting as counsel for:
- a sovereign in immunity proceedings related to the enforcement of an arbitral award (led by Christopher Harris);
- the Libyan Investment Authority in claims in the Chancery Division against Société Générale to recover multi-billion dollar sums lost in equity derivative transactions;
- 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 by Constantine Partasides QC).
Mark regularly receives 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 was the Lead Junior Counsel). The investigation issued its final report in early 2018. 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.