Mark Beer, OBE
In addition to his role as Registrar of the DIFC Courts, Mark is a Judge of the Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal, Chairman of the Courts’ Users’ Committee, a Member of the Rules Subcommittee and Registrar of the Special Tribunal Related to Dubai World. In 2010 Mark was appointed for a year’s term as a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the International Legal System and he is Vice-President of the Middle East for the International Association for Court Administration.
Under Mark’s direction, the Courts have secured a reputation as one of the most efficient and advanced commercial courts in the world. He has overseen the launch of various firsts for the Middle East, including a Code of Professional Conduct, a Pro Bono programme, a common law training academy and a Wills and Probate Registry. He has played a key role in the development of the Courts’ many formalised relationships with partner judicial systems in the region and beyond.
Mark joined the DIFC Courts after five years working at MasterCard Worldwide in Dubai where he had served as the company’s Regional Legal Counsel for South Asia, Middle East and Africa and was later promoted to Vice President, heading MasterCard’s Government Relations and Corporate Services across the same region. Previously, Mark worked in the corporate finance team of Man Investments in Switzerland and prior to that in private practice both in the UK and the UAE.
Amna Sultan Al Owais
Co-Chief Executive and Registrar
Amna joined the DIFC Courts in 2006, she became the Co-Chief Executive and Registrar in 2017 and Deputy Chief Executive of the Dispute Resolution Authority in 2014. Previous to her employment at the DIFC Courts, she practiced as a lawyer in the litigation department with Hadef Al Dhahiri and Associates. In addition to her role as Co-Chief Executive and Registrar of DIFC Courts she is also Deputy Registrar of the Special Tribunal Related to Dubai World, Chairwoman of the DIFC Courts’ Users’ Committee and a member of the Consulting Council for the University of Sharjah College of Law. In 2014, after an extensive selection process Amna was selected to join the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development – the Young Leaders category and in the same year, appointed to the Advisory Board of the International Bar Association’s Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee. Amna has played a key part in the establishment and development of the DIFC Courts and creation of the Dispute Resolution Authority in 2014. She spearheaded the establishment of the DIFC Courts’ Pro-Bono Programme launched in 2009, which is the first scheme of its kind in the Middle East. In 2011 Amna was recognised by the International Bar Association as one of the top 3 young lawyers in the world.
Reem Al Shihhe
Chief Operating Officer
Reem began her career in Human Resources with the DIFC Authority andjoined the DIFC Courts in January 2011 as the Head of Human Resourcesand Business Excellence. In 2013, under Reem’s direction and as a resultof DIFC Courtscommitment to court excellence, DIFC Courts became thefirst court in the world to achieve the International Standard forService Excellence (TISSE) certification.
In 2014 the DIFC Courts, led by Reem, attained the 5 Star CustomerExcellence Award by the UAE Prime Minister -the first non-federal UAEgovernment entity to do so. In the same year, she became the ChiefOperating Officeroverseeing all the operational departments supportingthe divisions which make up the DRA. Following hersuccess in 2015, Reemgraduated from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development.
In 2016, Reem became the _ICCE Representative for DIFC Courts and Memberof the Executive Committee_ following the DIFC Courts proudly becoming amember of the International Consortium for Court Excellence (ICCE),becoming one of the premier league of courts working actively to assist judiciaries across the world to adopt the International Framework for Court Excellence.
Natasha Bakirci joined the DIFC Courts in February 2012 as Judicial Clerk, and was appointed Assistant Registrar in November that year. Natasha also began hearing cases as a Small Claims Tribunal Judge in May 2016. She is responsible for reviewing the judicial output of the Court, as well as preparing Practice & Registrar Directions and amendments to the Rules of Court. Natasha is the main person responsible for the development of Memoranda of Guidance and the advancement of the Courts’ relationship with fellow commercial courts in other jurisdictions. Natasha established the DIFC Courts Academy course in 2012, in conjunction with Thomson Reuters, and helped to draft the Courts’ Code of Conduct – among the first Codes of Ethics for lawyers in the region, and now examines complaints lodged against Practitioners under the Code. Natasha also co-wrote and updates the Courts’ Enforcement Guide, which sets out the legal framework governing the enforcement of DIFC Courts judgments and orders outside the DIFC.
Natasha was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2006. She has an LLB from the University of London (2001) and an LLM Masters in Public International Law from the London School of Economics (2003). Natasha comes to the Courts after five years with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Maha Khalid Al Mehairi
Maha Khalid Al Mehairi originally joined the DIFC Courts in 2012 as a Case Progression Officer and was appointed a Judicial officer in early 2013 before becoming an Small Claims Tribunal Judge in 2017. Prior to joining the Courts’ team, she worked as a legal Consultant in Emirates Advocates. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Sharjah – as well as Higher Diploma in E-business Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Candian 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.
Nassir Al Nasser
SCT Judge and Registrar
Nassir was appointed as a DIFC Courts’ Judical Officer in December 2012. In 2017 he was appointed as an SCT Judge and Registrar. Nassir is a graduate of the University of Middlesex (UK) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law: he is the first Emirati to join the DIFC Courts whose primary legal training has been in English common law.
Prior to joining the DIFC Courts, he undertook a training programme with Dubai Public Prosecutor’s Officer and Dubai Courts as an intern. Nassir works closely with the DIFC Courts’ international and national Judges, providing judicial support by undertaking legal research, sitting on Small Case Tribunal (SCT) proceedings and sitting in Case Management conference and application hearings.
Lema Hatim joined the DIFC Courts as a Case Progression Officer in July 2013 following her internship with the DIFC Courts Registry, and was promoted to Senior Case Progression Officer in May 2014 and to Assistant Registrar in May 2017. Her main roles involve managing cases in the Court of First Instance, Court of Appeal and Arbitration as well as being in charge of the review of Practice & Registrar Directions and amendments to the Rules of Court. Lema is also a member of the Small Claims Tribunal, acting as an SCT Judge on Consultations.
Prior to joining DIFC Courts, she was working as a Paralegal with the Dispute Resolution Team at Norton Rose (Middle East) LLP. Lema has completed her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the American University of Sharjah and completed her GDL from BPP University. Lema is also an accredited mediator of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), under its ‘Accredited Mediator Training Programme’. Lema has won awards at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition National Rounds held at the DIFC Courts for the Best Oralist, Best Overall Team and Best Memorial Award and has actively been involved in judging the Jessup Moot Court Competition at a national and international level.
Ayesha Bin Kalban
Senior Case Progression Officer
Ayesha joined the DIFC Courts in the role of case progression officer in March 2015 and was promoted to the role of Senior Case Progression Officer in May 2017. She currently handles the progression of cases filed in the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal, and sits as a judge in the Small Claims Tribunal. She also handles the progression of enforcement cases.
Prior to joining the Courts, Ayesha was working as a paralegal in a local law firm. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Political Science from University of Saint Joseph Dubai, and studied there on a scholarship from the Edad leadership program. She is also qualified to appear before the local and federal courts in the UAE.
SCT Case Progression Officer
Hayley joined the DIFC Courts in October 2013 and served the position of Registrar’s Associate, working with the Registrar and Deputy Registrar, before moving into the Small Claims Tribunal as Case Progression Officer in early 2017. Hayley’s main roles involve managing the cases and liaising with the parties to progress the cases in the SCT.
Prior to moving to Dubai, she worked as a clerk to The Hon. Mr Justice Eder at the Royal Courts of Justice in the UK, and served as a caseworker for the Crown Prosecution Service.
She has completed her law degree (LLB) from the University of Southampton.