Mark heads up international law firm Charles Russell Speechlys’ Commercial, IP & TMT practice in the Middle East and is responsible internationally for the firm’s activities in the film and production space. Mark is a Partner with 30 years of experience as a high level strategic commercial lawyer and has been based in Dubai since 1999. Mark specialises in intellectual property and has particular industry focused knowledge in the media, entertainment and events industries.
Prior to joining Charles Russell Speechlys, Mark was the Managing Partner of The Rights Lawyers, a boutique industry-focused intellectual property firm that he founded in Dubai in 2003. The Rights Lawyers was the Middle East’s first and only boutique media, intellectual property and technology law firm.
Mark has been advising production houses for decades. He is known by and acts for many of the production companies operating in the Middle East region and is advisor to the UAE’s Production Forum (the key business association for primary production houses operating within the UAE). Mark and his long-term team have been described by The Hollywood Reporter as “the ‘go-to’ guys for all things media in Dubai”. Mark acts for a variety of production houses, film producers, entertainment and media companies, celebrities and artists, high-end retail franchising groups, leading local telecommunications firms, financial service sector clients, sports bodies as well as technology and app providers.
Some of Mark’s high-profile clients include Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Racing Green Pictures, Voltage Films, Boomtown Productions, regional film directors Ali F. Mostafa and Reshel Shah Kapoor, the International Cricket Council, Al Tayer Group, Majid Al Futtaim, Haier Electronics Middle East, and the Mediapro Group. He also stands on the Board of various companies from the sectors in which he operates including key industry organisations such as the Middle East International Live Events Association. He is also regularly featured as a speaker at industry events, seminars and conferences throughout the Middle East and internationally.
Mark is regarded as one of the leading Media, IP and Technology lawyers in the Middle East and has been recommended by the Chambers and Legal 500 directories on a yearly basis since 1991. Mark is currently ranked in Chambers for TMT (UAE) and IP (UAE). He is also ranked as an IP Star 2020 by leading Intellectual Property directory, Managing IP and highly commended by Media Law International with the firm receiving a Tier 1 UAE ranking upon his joining.
Mark and his team have been widely recognised for their achievements in relation to the legal and commercial aspects of film production winning the Digital Studio award for contributions to the production, broadcast and film industries in the region. They were also awarded the Group Achievement Award from the Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards, having been judged as raising the bar in the legal sector for work in film and in the context of intellectual property generally. Mark and his team’s innovative approach to client needs and the provision of commercial advice was viewed as having gone beyond the ordinary service provided by a law firm.