The Dubai International Financial Centre Judicial Authority announced today that it has appointed Mark Beer as the Registrar of the DIFC Courts and Amna Al Owais as Deputy Registrar.These appointments enhance the senior team at the DIFC Courts, which is now fully-equipped to handle all civil and commercial disputes relating to their jurisdiction.
As Registrar, Mr. Beer will be the senior administrative officer of the Judicial Authority of the DIFC and he will be responsible for the overall administration and management of the DIFC Courts. He will also have various judicial functions such as handling urgent applications and ensuring the delivery of efficient justice by actively managing the progress of cases.
Ms. Al Owais’ responsibilities include the operational management of the daily functions of the DIFC Courts, providing administrative and logistical support to the Registrar, Chief Justice, Judges and Judicial Officers of DIFC Courts. She is already the Registrar of the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) which specializes in claims of less than AED 100.000 and issues its decisions in less than two weeks.
Established under laws enacted by the late Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in December 2004, the DIFC Courts constitute an independent judicial system created to adjudicate cases arising within, or in relation to, the DIFC.
Mr. Beer joins the DIFC Courts after five years with MasterCard Worldwide in Dubai where he served as the company’s Regional Legal Counsel for South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) handling legal and regulatory matters across the region, and later as Vice President, heading the company’s Government Relations and Corporate Services initiatives across SAMEA. 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.
Ms. Al Owais joined the DIFC Courts in October 2006. Prior to joining the Courts team, she eas with the law firm “Hadef” in its litigation and commercial department. She holds an LLM Master degree with commendation in International Commercial Law from Kingston University, UK.
Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts said: “Mark Beer brings a wealth of legal and commercial experience and he is well qualified to lead the world-class team that we have here in the DIFC Courts. Amna Sultan Al Owais has already proved herself as a valuable and hardworking member of the DIFC Courts team and I am pleased that she will now exercise her administrative and legal skills as Deputy Registrar. The DIFC Courts provide an independent, fair, transparent and efficient judicial system that significantly boosts DIFC’s ability to provide a strong and secure platform for the growth of the financial services industry and capital markets. These appointments will assist the DIFC Courts in its efforts to tackle cases of any level of complexity.”
Talking about his new appointment, Mark Beer said: “I am proud to be part of a landmark new independent judicial system that has been created to serve one of the fastest growing financial markets in the world. I look forward to working closely with the judges to consolidate what the DIFC Courts has already achieved and to support its efficient functioning.”
The DIFC Courts guarantee the highest standards of legal procedure and the certainty, flexibility and efficiency expected by global institutions. Headed by eminent judges who have varied and extensive experience in different common law jurisdictions around the world, the DIFC Courts have been designed to specifically deal with complex cases that may involve sophisticated financial transactions. The Rules of the DIFC Courts were created following extensive consultation and review of international best practices and are modelled on English Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).
Commenting on her recent appointment, Ms. Al Owais said: “I have gained invaluable experience from working at the DIFC Courts over the past two years, and I am delighted to be appointed Deputy Registrar. My responsibilities include being Registrar of the Small Claims Tribunal which is unique in the region and plays a vital role in encouraging SME’s to settle small financial disputes efficiently and quickly. I look forward to continuing to cooperate with my colleagues to ensure the provision of justice in accordance with best international standards”.
Led by Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice and Michael Hwang, Deputy Chief Justice, the DIFC Courts’ panel of distinguished judges includes Sir Anthony Colman, Sir John Chadwick, Tan Sri Dato Seri Siti Norma, David Williams, Omar Al Muhairi and Ali Al Madhani.
About the DIFC:
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an onshore hub for global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centres of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped emerging market for financial services.
In just three years, over 700 firms have registered at the DIFC. They operate in an open environment complemented with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member institutions incentives such as 100 per cent foreign ownership, zero tax on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.
About the DIFC Courts:
The DIFC Courts is an independent court system set up to uphold the provisions of DIFC laws and regulations. They provide the protection of an English language, common law court system, with an internationally renowned bench of judges versed in commercial disputes, to ensure transparent and efficient justice in civil and commercial matters in or relating to the Centre.
The ooverriding objective of the DIFC Courts is to deal with cases justly and to help parties settle cases. Designed to deal specifically with the sophisticated transactions conducted within the DIFC, the DIFC Courts provide comprehensive legal redress in civil and commercial matters. Along with offering the highest standards in legal dispute resolution and a judicial system based on international best practices, DIFC Courts provide a small claims tribunal which is unique in the region.
In January this year, the DIFC Courts appointed the first female judge in the UAE and announced that two Emirati judges had become common law International Judges. The DIFC Courts were established under laws enacted by The Late His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai in September 2004. The DIFC Courts are an independent judicial system which has jurisdiction over matters arising in or relating to the DIFC (www.difccourts.ae ).