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Justice Zaki Azmi joined the DIFC Courts in December 2013. He retired as the Chief Justice of Malaysia in September 2011, upon reaching the retirement age of judges of the superior courts in Malaysia. His greatest achievement as the 12th Chief Justice was to clear the outstanding backlog of cases affecting the Malaysian Courts and to reduce the hearing time for newly filed cases, an achievement which was recognised by the World Bank.
He held the post of Chief Justice of Malaysia for three years, having previously served as the President of the Court of Appeal. He was elevated directly as a Federal Judge on September 5, 2007. As of November 2018, Justice Zaki Azmi has been appointed Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.
H.E. Justice Omar Al Mheiri was appointed as a Senior Judicial Officer at the DIFC Courts in August 2005. H.E. Justice Omar Al Mheiri brings to the DIFC Courts an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the Dubai judicial system.
In 1994, H.E. Justice Omar Al Mheiri was appointed as a Prosecutor for Dubai Public Prosecution and served as Prosecutor until 1998. In 1998, he was appointed by the Ruler of Dubai to serve as a Judge in the Dubai Courts. During his tenure as a Judge, H.E. Justice Omar Al Mheiri dealt with a large number of major criminal, commercial and civil cases. As of November 2018, H.E. Judge Omar Juma Al Mheiri has been appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.
In 2022, H.E. Justice Ali Al Madhani was appointed by the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as a Deputy Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts.
Justice Al Madhani also served as a Senior Judge of Court of Appeal and Head of International Relations of Judicial Affairs at the DIFC Courts, during which, he expanded his expertise within the complex commercial, financial, and civil cases, and oversaw the DIFC Courts international connectivity with civil and commercial jurisdictions across the globe.
H.E. Justice Ali Al Madhani’s journey with the DIFC Courts began in 2005, where he was first appointed as a Senior Judicial Officer. In January 2008, H.E. Justice Ali was sworn in as a Judge of the DIFC Courts, and in April 2008 he was appointed and sworn in as a Court of Appeal Judge. He was later appointed as a member of the Joint Committee of the Dubai Courts.
H.E. Justice Al Madhani is the Current Chairman of the Middle East Board for Courts Administration under the International Association for Court Administration (IACA). In December 2021, Justice Ali Al Madhani graduated from ‘Dubai Leaders Program’ at the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development.
His Excellency served as a Public Prosecutor for Dubai Public Prosecution from 1994 to 1998. In 1998, he was appointed by the Ruler of Dubai to serve as a Judge in the Dubai Courts. During his tenure at Dubai Courts, he adjudicated over a large number of commercial, criminal and civil cases. In late 2004, H.E. Justice Al Madhani joined the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to provide expertise on domestic issues and the application of UAE and Dubai legislation to DFSA. In 2007, H.E. Justice Ali has received his Master’s Degree from SOAS University of London.
H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi has over 23 years of experience in international commercial and financial litigation in common law, civil law and Sharia’ legal systems. He has experience in arbitral practice in civil and common law systems, as has served as sole arbitrator, Co-arbitrator and Chairman of many arbitral tribunals. He frequently speaks and writes on topics involving DIFC Courts and international arbitration.
He joined the DIFC Courts in 2010 as a Judicial Officer before becoming a Small Claims Tribunal Judge and then a Court of First Instance Judge before he was appointed as Court of Appeal Judge in 2017. He was appointed by the DIFC Courts Chief Justice as Judge in Charge of the Arbitration Division of the DIFC Courts in 2020.
Prior to joining the DIFC Courts, Justice Al Sawalehi was the founder of Shamlan Law firm, where he represented governments and private clients on complex commercial and financial disputes in the UAE and MENA region. Prior to that, he served as Director of Strategic Affairs at The Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai where he was involved in number of strategic legal cases.
Justice Al Sawalehi was also a manager of the Enforcement Department of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) where he supervised the International Financial Services Institution Compliance with the international best practice and DFSA regulations. Prior to joining the DFSA, he served for five years as a Public Prosecutor with the Dubai Public Prosecution Department in both criminal and civil departments, where he was involved in investigations of high profile commercial and financial crimes, and represented the Government’s Departments on several high value litigation before Dubai Courts.
H.E. Justice Al Sawalehi holds a Master’s degree with Merits in International Commercial Law from Westminster University in the UK, a Higher Diploma with Honour in Advanced Legal and Judicial Studies from the Dubai Judicial Institution, and a Bachelor with distinction in Shari’a and Law from the UAE University.
England & Wales
England & Wales
Sir Jeremy Cooke is a graduate of St Edmund Hall, Oxford from 1967-1970 and has an MA 1st Class Honours degree in Jurisprudence.
Sir Jeremy Cooke was an Articled Clerk with Speechly Mumford and Soames 1971-1973, admitted as a solicitor 1973. He was Called to the Bar 1976 (Lincoln’s Inn), Droop Scholar and practised at the Commercial Bar, specialising in Commercial Court and Arbitration work. He served as a High Court Judge, Queen’s Bench Division, 2001 and then was appointed to the Commercial Court in 2003. Justice Jeremy Cooke was appointed as a Judge of the DIFC Courts on 13 April 2016.
In September 2022, Justice Sir Jeremy Cooke was appointed Judge in Charge of the Civil & Commercial Division.
The Honourable Robert Shenton French was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in September 2008. At the time of his appointment he was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, having been appointed to that office in November 1986. He graduated from the University of Western Australia in Science and Law. He was admitted in 1972 and practiced as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia until 1983 when he went to the Western Australian Bar. From 1994 - 1998 he was President of the National Native Title Tribunal. At the time of his appointment he was an additional member of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and a member of the Supreme Court of Fiji. He was also a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal and a part-time member of the Australian Law Reform Commission. From 2001 - 2005 he was president of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law. Chief Justice French was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2010. He is also an International Justice of the Singapore International Commercial Court and a Non-Permanent Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
The Honourable Wayne Stewart Martin served as the Chief Justice of Western Australia and as a Judge of the Court of Appeal and General Division of the Supreme Court of Western Australia between 2006 - 2018. The Hon. Wayne Martin completed a Master of Laws from the University of London in 1975 and was admitted to practice in Western Australia in 1977. After being a solicitor and counsel with Keall Brinsden & Co, Perth, from 1980 - 1988, he joined the Independent Bar in 1988 and was appointed as Queens Counsel 1993. From 2001 - 2003, he was Senior Counsel assisting the HIH Royal Commission in Sydney. He served as President of the Western Australian Bar Association from 1996 - 1999, Chairman of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia from 1996 to 2001, President of the Law Society in 2006 and Director of the Law Council of Australia in 2006. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2012.
In September 2022, Justice Wayne Martin was appointed Judge in Charge of the Technology and Construction Division.
Justice Lord Angus Glennie called to the Bar (England and Wales) at Lincoln’s Inn in 1974. He practised in London in commercial chambers at 4 Essex Court (now Essex Court Chambers) and latterly at 20 Essex Street from 1975 to 2005. In 1990, Lord Glennie was appointed QC (England and Wales). His practice was mainly commercial, including shipping, insurance and re-insurance, international sale of goods and construction disputes. In addition to court appearances, he regularly acted in commercial arbitrations and sometimes sat as arbitrator.
In 1992, Justice Lord Angus was called to the Bar in Scotland, where he practised as Barrister (as well as in England), until he was appointed to the bench in 2005. He was also appointed QC in Scotland in 1996. In 2005, he was appointed a judge of the Court of Session in Scotland (Scotland’s highest civil court) with the judicial title of Lord Glennie, and in 2016, he was also appointed to the Inner House of the Court of Session (equivalent to the Court of Appeal in England).
In January 2021, Justice Lord Angus Glennie was appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal at the DIFC Courts.
England & Wales
England & Wales
The Rt Hon Lord Justice Peter Gross (Sir Peter Gross) has enjoyed an eminent legal career spanning over 40 years and joined Twenty Essex as a full- time arbitrator in October 2019. He was appointed Lead Judge for International Relations in January 2018.
Sir Peter is Co-Chairman of the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts (SIFoCC) Case Management Working Group. On retirement from the Court of Appeal, Sir Peter was appointed President of the Slynn Foundation in November 2019, dedicated to advancing the Rule of Law internationally. Sir Peter was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2010 and was appointed Deputy Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales in October 2011, thereafter becoming Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales from January 2013 to December 2015.
Appointed a Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in 2001, he was designated a Judge of the Commercial Court in 2002 and was Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court from 2009 to 2010. Sir Peter was a Presiding Judge of the South-Eastern Circuit (2005 – 2008). He was designated a Judge of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in 2009 and was Chairman of the Standing Committee on Judicial Security (2009 – 2011).
At the Bar, Sir Peter practiced in commercial chambers, from 1989 at 3 Essex Court (now Twenty Essex), and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1992. He specialised in international commercial, admiralty and arbitration disputes (as both barrister and arbitrator). Lord Justice Gross sat as a Recorder from 1995 until 2001, latterly as a Deputy High Court Judge, and chaired the London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association from 1995 until 1997. He also chaired the Bar Education & Training Committee (1998 – 2000) and the Bar International Relations Committee (2001).
In January 2021, Justice Sir Peter Gross was appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal at the DIFC Courts.
England & Wales
England & Wales
In 2022, Justice Michael Black was appointed as a Judge at the DIFC Courts Court of Appeal and Judge in charge of the Digital Economy Court (DEC).
Prior to his appointment at the DIFC Courts, Justice Black has been involved with the DIFC Courts since it was established in 2004. As well as assisting the First Chief Justice, Sir Anthony Evans, in establishing the Courts’ structure and drafting the Rules, Justice Black was also the first Practitioner to be Registered under Part II and appeared in the first trial before the Court of First Instance and the first hearing before the Court of Appeal.
Justice Black served as a Deputy Judge of the Technology & Construction Court in London between 1999 and 2013 and a Deputy High Court Judge (Queen’s Bench Division) between 2008 and 2013.
Justice Black was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 1978 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1995.
In September 2022, Justice Michael Black was appointed Judge in Charge of the Digital Economy Court Division.
In September 2023, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, appointed Justice Rene Lucien Le Miere as a judge in the Court of Appeal in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts.
Justice Le Miere was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2004. As a judge of the Supreme Court for 18 years, Justice Le Miere presided over numerous complex and heavy commercial cases.
Justice Le Miere also sat on the Western Australian Court of Appeal and was a member of the Western Australian Industrial Appeal Court.
For many years Justice Le Miere was the Western Australian representative on the Chief Justices’ Rules Harmonisation Committee and a Member of the Governing Council of the Australian Judicial Officers Association. Justice Le Miere continues to be the Western Australian representative on the Legal Services Council of Australia Admissions Committee and Law Admissions Consultative Committee.
Justice Le Miere was also the Senior Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia for seven years, before he retired from the Court in 2022.
Justice Le Miere was admitted as an Australian legal practitioner in 1978 and was a solicitor at Perth law firm, Dwyer Durack, and a partner in that firm from 1981 to 1988.
Justice Le Miere was a member of the Law Society of Western Australia council from 1983 to 1991, during which time he was editor of the Law Society newsletter, as well as President of Law Society of Western Australia in 1989 and 1990.
In 1988, Justice Le Miere joined the WA Bar Association and acted as counsel, advising in commercial, corporate, construction, and industrial matters and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1993.
Justice Le Miere was a Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia from 1988 to 1992.
England & Wales
England & Wales
In September 2023, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, appointed Justice Andrew G Moran as a judge in the Court of Appeal in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts.
Justice Moran is an independent, full-time, international commercial arbitrator, with nearly 30 years’ experience as arbitrator and judge, across a wide range of commercial and maritime disputes. His primary office and base is at The Arbitration Chambers of Singapore in Maxwell Chambers; he also has bases from which he arbitrates in the UK (London), where he is a member of 6 Pump Court Chambers, and Continental Europe (Spain). He was in practice for over 40 years as Counsel. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel 26 years ago and led teams of lawyers in complex commercial, civil and maritime cases. He is a Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.
Justice Moran has conducted and holds numerous appointments in arbitrations seated in jurisdictions including Singapore, England & Wales, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, India, Pakistan and the UAE, as sole arbitrator, presiding arbitrator and party appointed arbitrator.
In addition to his practice as arbitrator and counsel, Justice Moran was concurrently a part-time judge in England & Wales for over 25 years, including sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge in commercial, construction, administrative, civil and chancery cases. He still sits at first instance in the High Court and as an occasional Judge of Appeal in the Isle of Man. In his judicial role, he has tried (and/or heard on appeal) a range of heavy commercial, corporate (including share sale and purchase disputes), trust, banking, telecommunications, competition, and maritime cases.
Justice Moran also presided as the Chairman of specialist market tribunals operating in the regulation of financial services and the trading of commodities, futures and derivatives on the International Petroleum Exchange, the International Commodities Exchange, and as legal adviser to the Tribunal at the London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE) in the City of London.
Nassir was appointed as a DIFC Courts’ Judicial Officer in November 2012 and in 2017 was appointed as the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) Judge and Registrar, overseeing all Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) proceedings and case management conference and application hearings. In January 2021, Nassir Al Nasser was appointed to the Court of First Instance (CFI) at the DIFC Courts.
Nassir is a graduate of the University of Middlesex (UK) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Dubai. Nassir is also the first Emirati to join the DIFC Courts whose primary legal training has been in English common law.
Prior to joining the DIFC Courts, Nassir undertook a training programme with Dubai Public Prosecutor’s Office and Dubai Courts as an intern.
In September 2022, H.E. Justice Nassir Al Nasser was appointed Judge in Charge of the Small Claims Tribunal Division.
Maha Al Mheiri originally joined the DIFC Courts in 2012 as a Case Progression Officer and was appointed a Judicial officer in early 2013, before becoming a Small Claims Tribunal Judge in 2017. Prior to joining the Courts’ team, Maha worked as a legal consultant in Emirates Advocates. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Sharjah, as well as a Higher Diploma in E-business Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Canadian University of Dubai.
Maha is an accredited mediator of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), under its ‘Accredited Mediator Training Programme’. She was the first Emirati woman to qualify and will use her new skills in handling property-related hearings in the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal.
In January 2021, H.E. Maha Al Mheiri was appointed as a Judge of the Court of First Instance at the DIFC Courts.