Officers of the Court
Mark Beer, OBE
Mark joined the DIFC Courts in 2008 as Registrar and became Chief Executive in 2009. He is a Judge of the Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal, Chairman of the DIFC Legal Group, a Member of the DIFC Courts’ Rules Subcommittee, Registrar of the Special Tribunal Related to Dubai World and Chief Executive of the Dispute Resolution Authority. In 2010 he was elected the Vice-President of the Middle East for the International Association for Court Administration. Under his management, the Courts have secured a reputation as one of the most efficient commercial courts in the world. He has played a key role in the development of the Courts many formalised relationships with partner judicial systems including New York, London, Singapore and Australia. As Registrar, he undertakes judicial functions and other duties prescribed in Article 17 of the DIFC Courts Law and is responsible for administering the DIFC Courts’ office and staff. Mark previously worked for MasterCard Worldwide, where he was Regional Legal Counsel for South Asia, Middle East and Africa and later, Vice President, heading regional Government Relations and Corporate Services.
Amna Sultan Al Owais
Co-Chief Executive and Registrar
Amna Sultan Al Owais joined the DIFC Courts in October 2006. Prior to joining the Courts’ team, she worked as a lawyer for Hadef Al Dhahiri & Associates in their litigation and commercial department. In her current role in the DIFC Courts, Amna is responsible for the management of the claims lodged in DIFC Courts, providing general administrative support and providing research assistance to the Judges and Judicial Officers of the DIFC Courts. In addition, she is also the Registrar of the Small Claims Tribunal at the DIFC Courts.
Amna obtained her Masters with Commendation in International Commercial Law from Kingston University, London and has been admitted to practice in the UAE, both at the local and federal Courts.
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 all 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 in 2012, in conjunction with Thomson Reuters, and helped to draft the Courts’ new Code of Conduct – among the first Codes of Ethics for lawyers in the region. Natasha also co-wrote 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 Judical in early 2013. 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. 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. 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 attending Case Management conference and application hearings. He also builds relationships with public and external relations’ stakeholders and other regional court systems.
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. Prior to joining DIFC Courts, she was working as a Paralegal with the dispute resolution team on a number of legal cases at Norton Rose (Middle East) LLP. Lema has completed her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the American University of Sharjah. 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.
Cheryl Fernandes manages the administrative functions of the DIFC Courts and provides assistance to the Chief Justice and Justices of the DIFC Courts. Cheryl manages the Register of Legal Practitioners, the eRegistry and is Secretary of the Courts’ Users’ Committee.
Shahin Shaikh supports the Courts’ case progression function, handling filing, records and other Registry-associated administrative duties. Shahin joined the Courts in January 2011, initially managing the front office. She was promoted to her new role in September 2012.
Ayesha Bin Kalban
Senior Case Progression Officer
Ayesha joined the DIFC Courts in the role of case progression officer in March 2015. 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.